Gratitude-Blossoms 9 - intensity
- I have been slowly unwinding at my mother's house since my Saturday
'Joy Day' adventure. On Monday I took my car for some long overdue
repairs - someone cut across me in April when I was going to London
for my flight to New York, damaging the wing, and although the
insurance has been ready to do the repairs for about two months I
couldn't deal with it until now. The garage has given me a courtesy
car. So I'm now driving a silver 'Corsair.' Having written so much
about the barley field I was thinking it would be nice to photograph
it now it has been cut. The stubble was so even and bright. But as I
set out to take my car to the garage a tractor had already started
ploughing the field, surrounded by a great whirling flock of seagulls
and rooks, out searching for worms in the nowly turned soil. Now the
field looks very different with the rich dark earth.
On Tuesday evening I drove my mother-in-law out in it for a little
outing in my 'new car' - but there are no instructions and it took me
some time to locate the controls so it was later than I intended when
we set out. I'd intended to go through Thaxted and Finchingfield, both
classic 'Beautiful Britain calendar-quality' villages near my mother's
house, but the sunset was so beautiful I turned right on the Thaxted
road so we could drive west and enjoy the symphony of colour as it lit
the sky gold and then swept the streaks of cloud with sky-wide
brushstrokes of intense purple-pink.
Ma was in a reflective mood as the sunset faded fron the sky. She told
me some inspiring stories of her young days growing up in India. Like
Guru she caught smallpox as a child. It was very serious. Like Guru
her mother used green coconut juice to bathe her and depended on the
strength of her prayers. Ma was 14 at that time and at the height of
the illness she had a vision in which the goddess who is responsible
for healing appeared and stood before her, blessing her powerfully. I
will ask Ma to remind me of the details but it was a deeply inspiring
and significant experience for her. After this blessing the fever left
her and she quickly recovered.
We went into Saffron Walden and I took Ma to the 'Eight Bells'
restaurant for a meal, only to find they had just finished serving
food. She has quite bad arthritis and finds walking difficult, but we
followed the advice of the staff at the Eight Bells and slowly made
our way to another restaurant - the Saffron Hotel - with Ma taking
slow small steps, leaning on my arm and using her cane. To avoid a
steep slope on the pavement we walked in the road for part of the way,
waiting between parked cars when any traffic passed. It was farther
than I'd realised. We reached it with a sense of relief and
achievement - only to find that the kitchen was being refurbished that
evening, so no food was available there either! They did make us a
very nice pot of tea.
Wednesday was spent mostly on Mum's computer, looking for jobs and
applying to some - (nothing very hopeful but you have to try.) Then I
did some extra housework as Mum will be home on Friday.
As the sun dipped towards the horizon I watered all the vegetables on
the raised beds and in the greenhouse - including the vine which is
full of bunches of young grapes and the tomatoes which are reaching
the roof. They needed feeding as well as watering.
I had hoped to get to Cambridge Centre but my timing was out. If I had
been alone I could have flung myself through the bath and made it -
but I was planning to go to London on Thursday for a 'Business
Breakfast' to promote my Blue Lotus Enterprises and to register with
another teaching agency on Friday. As I would have to leave home in
the early hours I wanted to have a relaxed evening meal with Ma, get
everything ready and have an early night - so I did my meditation at home.
It was quite late on Wednesday when one of my Birmingham friends
phoned with a bit of a family crisis. She is one of my tuition
students who calls me 'Grandma' - someone who knows about Guru and
has a lot of love and respect for him - although she is not outwardly
a disciple. The problem was quite complicated so I assured her that I
would see her in the morning. My time of peace and relaxation was
coming to an end and instead of setting out early to beat the traffic
with a 2 hour drive to London I found myself setting out for
Birmingham this morning.
I'd not gone far when I realised I'd left my i-pod and CDs so I had no
music to enjoy. I did not want to turn back or get into 'radio mode'
and I was quite sleepy - so I started to chant mantras. (Supreme,
Gratitude, Devotion, Surrender, Guru, Sri Chinmoy and Durga-Mata were
the main ones I chose.) I guess the journey took a little over 3 hours
and I kept the mantras going all the way. It was raining part of the
way and heavy traffic for the last hour, not a smooth journey, but the
mantras made it inspiring, like a three hour meditation.
In Birmingham, having discussed the situation and given my friend the
best advice I could, she went out to try to sort things out. I stayed
at her home reading some of the books of Guru's which she has and
copying poems and extracts of his writings into a notebook for her. It
was a way of staying prayerful and focussed - while creating something
that would hopefully give her some strength and inspiration in the
days to come. I was really tired and the temptation to sleep was
strong but I kept my focus and paced myself with some exercises and by
alternating the books I was using (mostly The Divine Hero) with
reading files I've got on my computer. The main one I used was the New
Year poems and inspiration I copied from Guru's Library site at the
New Year in Zagreb, when I was staying with Anita. There is so much
inspiration in that file. I'm thinking of 'serialising' some of it here.
I have not read and immersed myself in Guru's writings with such
intensity for a long time. I guess I started at about 1.00 and
continued with few breaks until she returned at after 7pm.
My friends mother came home at tea time with her little nephew. She
called me to come down for a meal, and just as I put down my book I
felt Guru's Presence with sudden and sweet closeness. It was intense
but very delicate, like a feather-touch. Immediately I placed this
particular problem at his feet and asked him to give my friend his
light and his guidance.
The problem is not resolved, things did not work out as we had hoped
and my friend is quite depressed about it. She said, 'I told you not
to come,' and only listened to a bit of the writings I had copied out
so I would leave her in peace - but I was so full of my meditation and
the inspiration of Guru's Words that I was unperturbed and able to
come away with a peaceful heart, secure in the knowledge that he was
in charge of the situation.
I left at about midnight and drove back to London in the early hours
of this morning. I would have found it hard to stay awake but just as
I was thinking I would have to stop and rest, an Interfaith friend
(who I had hoped I might have had time to visit and had texted earlier
to say I was coming to Birmingham) - phoned and chatted on Hands Free
for some time. After that, Guru just gave me the energy to go on, go
on, until I reached home. I was thinking of the great ultra-runners
and the way they just go on and on. They were my special inspiration.
Now it's 5am. What a crazy lifestyle. But I am going to bed with a
real sense of gratitude and happiness. For once I have really given
the whole 24 hours to selfless service and meditation - and for the
first time in weeks I have really felt Guru's Touch.
When I write about events in my life like this it is not because I
think they are any more special or significant than anyone else's.
It's just because sharing my life like this is all I can offer. I am
not a gifted poet so I write about my inspiring experiences. It would
be nice to hear some of your stories, too.
Rintu was my special source of inspiration - and 'blogger-champions'
such as Jogyata - but I know there are many, many disciples who could
do the same. We are a family and I hope more people will be inspired
and and able to make time to share reminiscences of times with Guru
and stories of their own aspiring-inspiring daily events.
All my love and prayers that I will see you soon in New York