Tuesday, December 16, 2008

The Joy Of Being Home

I like to walk alone on country paths, rice plants and wild grasses on both sides, putting each foot down on the earth in mindfulness, knowing that I walk on the wondrous earth. In such moments, existence is a miraculous and mysterious reality. People usually consider walking on water or in thin air a miracle. But I think the real miracle is not to walk either on water or in thin air, but to walk on earth. Every day we are engaged in a miracle which we don't even recognize: a blue sky, white clouds, green leaves, the black, curious eyes of a child...our own two eyes. All is a miracle.
-Thich Nhat Hanh, "Miracle of Mindfulness"

Everyday I receive a daily Buddhist thought in my email. The above thought from Thich Nhat Hanh came today. I have seen it before and it is one of my favorites. I understand what he is saying and I agree with him. Few, however, who live in my part of the world would think today was a beautiful day or a good day for a walk. I woke up to a neighborhood that was cold and dark, with a thin layer of ice on everything. The wind was blowing and sleet fell from the sky. It was cold all day although I did get excited by the occasional bursts of snow flurries. By the time I left work to come home a light but cold rain was falling again. The trees are bare of leaves and color and the landscape has the dreary look that dampens the mood of even the most light hearted of people. It reminded me of the television commercial for the cold product called Theraflu. In the commercial the person who is sick has the appearance of a ghost as he walks the streets trying to get home. Once home, and after taking the medicine, he gains color and his home radiates warmth. Sometimes on winter days I feel like that person. Although nature and the world in general may be cold and dreary, and freezing rain, or sleet, or snow may be falling, once I am inside my home all is well. I love being home all the time but I especially love being home on a cold day or night. I wear my flannel shirt with an old sweater along with my pajama pants and thick socks. I am happy as I can be in my little Hobbit hole. All is well and life is good. I drink my hot coffee, read my books, listen to my music, watch a movie, or take a nap. I am warm and toasty in my little room hidden away from the world.

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