I am seated at the dining room table of friends in Boulder, Colorado. It is a perfect Sunday summer morning. My coffee on my left, a vase of home-grown sunflowers in front of me and a sleeping kitty cat on my right.
I see my husband through the window. He sits outside on the patio, enjoying the New York Times and his breakfast. This much-anticipated vacation makes us happy to be alive.
This is perfection.
It’s easy to embrace life on these terms.
But how can I love life this much when I’m back at home? Back at home with the ringing phones and the toilets to be cleaned and the air-conditioner that breaks and the bills that need paying? And the parents who are aging?
When in doubt, I turn to writings by the Buddhist teacher Pema Chodron. The luxury of vacation allows much time for reading and reflection. When I stumbled upon this excerpt from Chodron’s book “When Things Fall Apart,” I recalled a time not too long ago when things were falling apart for me.
It’s only been a couple of years. It seems like forever-ago, yet just yesterday.
I failed at something I wanted so earnestly. And the next day I lay in bed with a box of tissues and Chodron’s book. At the time she was the only one who could reach me. I felt held and encouraged by her words.
Today, miles away from that dark time and place of a few years ago, Chodron’s book gets me again. Things are not falling apart, yet I am once again uplifted and touched by these words.
May they reach you wherever you find yourself today.