December 24, 2021 by Catherine Viel
December 23, 2021
Every living heart…all over this broad land, will yet swell…, when again touched, as surely they will be, by the better angels of our nature. ~ Abraham Lincoln
How could I possibly be happy? It doesn’t look like the Reval has happened. It does look like lockdowns are happening. And as far as I know, Mr. Biden is still more or less occupying the White House.
I don’t think the truth about Covid has miraculously emerged into public consciousness. When I met someone yesterday he offered me a fist bump. The Goleta branch of my bank has closed temporarily because of “an outbreak of Covid among staff.” Yeah, that narrative is still going strong.
So, once again. How could I possibly be happy?
I am left to bemusedly wonder if all the platitudes about happiness being an inside job are, in fact, true.
Because there ain’t nothin’ happening out there to cause a sensation of peace and quiet joy to be bubbling around inside this shell of skin.
Things began quietly shifting, I began shifting, on the solstice two days ago. Then it was a rocky and largely uncomfortable day yesterday.
Today, pleasant, purposeful activity, and looking forward to this day and future days, seems to be on the menu.
Since I haven’t consciously done any magical incantations or diligently meditated, I’m left to conclude that something’s shifted within me that was ready to shift, and I didn’t need to do a darn thing to make it happen.
I’ve no idea of my future state of feelings, but at this moment, I’m experiencing a sense of looseness, an internal kind of relaxation, that I have rarely felt since the Covid fiasco was launched two years ago.
Like a pleasant underground hum, as if Earth herself is catlike purring, an untouchable contentment reigns. I just don’t give a rat’s patoot what “they“ do out there.
Golly, what should I do with this? I’m mildly astonished that I’ve been whipping through the endless to-do list in an effortless manner, enjoying conversations as I make appointments.
When I used to make paper to-do lists, I took grim satisfaction in drawing a heavy line through something I’d accomplished, and placing an emphatic checkmark next to it. I did something similar with electronic versions.
This time I’m doing something different. I simply delete the item. Off it goes into the ethers where things being done or undone matter not a bit.
Curiously, while I don’t have the self-satisfaction of accomplishment that used to placate my ego, I also don’t have a sense of despair at the lengthy list still to do.
It’s not that things don’t matter, precisely. It’s that I don’t seem to have an attachment to whether or not something is done. It’s all very loosey-goosey and intuitive, while simultaneously being practical and active.
A little giggle wants to escape. How fun this can be! I’m suddenly reminded of all the times Dr. Peebles suggested that when I’m doing necessary tasks, remember to be conscious of doing them from the heart. Not because something has to be done.
Perhaps I’m uncovering an answer to, how can I possibly be happy? Apparently it’s the natural state I can be in when I am being and doing in concert with intuition and heart and connectedness with Divine.
I’m beginning to understand all the things that I’ve read which suggest something along those lines.
My bubble of complacency gets a bit of a prick when I contemplate the pouring rain, forecast to last all day, and think of homeless people and unsheltered domestic animals. Particularly Jesse the troubadour.
I can’t quite see him playing his guitar in front of Trader Joe’s, with cold rain splashing nearby, guitar case hopefully ajar as people hurry past, heads down, focused on stowing groceries in the car without getting things wet.
The inclement weather shelters should be open, though. And the library. And surely he has a couple dollars to buy a cup of coffee at Starbucks? He could probably linger for hours at the one downtown on De La Vina and Carrillo, with its comfortable leather lounge chairs and jazz music on the sound system.
Only people who have to be out in the rain today will be out. Workers and homeless people.
As for me and my small, cozy family, we are privileged to sit inside a warm home and watch the rain through the windows. Enjoy one another’s company. Contemplate nothing more arduous than what to have for dinner.
Perhaps I am complacent. But I am also wholeheartedly grateful and appreciative.
And I vow that when Reval money comes my way, I will happily fund the Transition House homeless program and all the local animal shelters. So no one will ever again have to be homeless in the rain in Santa Barbara.