I'm feeling an interesting mix of things today -- sadness, compassion, and hope for everyone on the East Coast who has been affected by the storm in ways big and small and gratitude for my life and the spot that I find myself in right now. It is not lost on me that I was supposed to by in NYC this week (my trip was postponed to later in the year) and that 5 short months ago, I was living in a location that was devastated by the storm. Timing? Synchronocity? Plain ole' good luck? Perhaps all three or perhaps greater forces at work. I don't have the answer.
I do have this theory that life takes you exactly where you need to go, when you need to be there and I've been proving this theory for my whole life. I actually like this theory and I've very much enjoyed watching it play out in my own life. Right now I'm in the most "unlikely" of places -- in some ways I'm somewhere I never quite thought I would be. And yet, it's feeling like the perfect place. I suppose you could say I'm at the intersection of nothingness and possibility.
A little over a year ago, I was living in a town hit by Hurricane Irene. It was an interesting experience. I was alone in a house when the storm hit and throughout the aftermath. I discovered something in the wake of no electricity, cell phone, Internet connection, etc. -- nothingness. And in that nothingness, I found a delightful peace. While I heard people complain about not having power and the comforts that it brings, I found myself delighting in my weather-imposed "retreat." I read by candlelight. I got to bed early and rose with the sun. I connected with myself. I helped others. I sat in silence (the night the hurricane hit, I sat listening to the sounds of nature at its most violent). Everything and everyone seemed to slow down (granted there was a lot of complaining about and frustration over the reasons behind it but the result was the same). There was nothingness.
The weeks that followed the hurricane turned out to be important for me in many ways. Possibilities opened up to me and resulted in a wild and interesting chain of events that have led me to where I am now. I never would have thought that the intersection between nothingness and possibility could be so powerful. Yet here I am, once again proving my theory.
I've seen the fullness that can arise from emptiness. I've seen the freedom that comes from loss. I've seen the strength that comes from tragedy. I've seen the love that comes from fear. And my fervent wish for everyone dealing with the aftermath of the storm is that the intersection they come to proves to be powerful in positive ways.
I'm writing this post wearing a shirt that I bought about 5 months ago at Gurney's Inn, which, it would seem has been ravaged by the storm. The shirt's message is especially timely: be in gratitude.
Here's a brief meditation for standing in possibility, which is exactly what we're doing when we're at that intersection or in seemingly the unlikeliest of places.