San Francisco, December 2012
Last night, I had a dream I was at a cafe on the beach. It was the last day of my trip, I had spent the morning packing, and I was enjoying a cup of coffee in a blue-and-white-schemed shop. I looked out the windows into the impossibly bright morning and saw a massive, dark, ominous cloud traveling over the sea. It was coming toward land, and I knew I did not want to be caught in a downpour in the car on the way back home.
I left my half drunk cup of coffee at the cafe and called my traveling companion, imploring him to hurry so we could get on the road. His response was muffled, and I couldn't figure out where he was. I was harried and nervous and angry, and the storm was getting closer. Just as the storm reached the beach and I braced myself for thunder and electricity and confusion, the clouds dissipated and revealed a bunch of gray balloons that slipped silently over my head. The morning went back to being bright.
When I was younger and things seem to be going well in my life, I feverishly scanned the horizon for the next crisis. I braced myself for the nightmare workweek, the breakup, the house fire. Instead of being in the moment and enjoying the happiness, I thought, "Well, this won't last. I should start distancing so I can protect myself." Even though I was willfully making myself miserable, I wondered why my life was always so stormy.
Still today, the impulse to look for a crisis is there, but I know now that by looking for one, I am apt to create mountains out of molehills (or thunderclouds out of balloons, if I may). So instead, I practice the daily reverence and revelry, gratitude, and openness. I embrace instead of run away. I speak my truth instead of silently seething and expecting others to read my mind. I know that this too shall pass, but I can enjoy it while it lasts.