Lucille Fiona Berkley, Age 4
The sorrow is strong and suffocating, like a long simple cry that calls for no explanation. My heart, it’s swimming, it could drown without its steady movements and strength. My eyes, they don’t know what’s up ahead. My knees, they take so much of the weight, just wanting to sit, bend and push. My hands are fidgeting, looking for another hand or even just a wall to grab onto. My feet are dancing. There are jellyfish and butterflies somewhere, but I can’t feel them. My mouth is covered. My lashes are incomprehensibly heavy.
Somewhere, in some part of my body I cannot map, I am unfolding. I understand, I trust. This unmapped area is where compassion and love seem to seep from. The unmapped is where you and I are unseparated; it’s where I hold and revisit the magnitude of my life. It’s where I breathe from, where I think from.
My last Sunday the way things are has been spent, wisely. My house empty, filled with things that suffice. It’s warm, not with weather but with all of the years Josh and I have spent in it, and all of the people that sit soundly in our hearts. It reverberates all of the regular sounds that seem louder, and more like a song than ever before. We were watered so carefully here. So perfectly. We have stuff, but everything we need is somehow here and coming with us. How can that be? I guess it’s in the Change, it makes room for it.
“I learned how to say, ‘see you next time’ in sign language for you Mrs. April” -Alexis
Imagine the Ocean, wide and with a certain stillness… swelling, and suddenly curling into a wave that has never before existed; although so many waves have come before it. This image is a great way to give direction to the phrase “Be the Change.” If we were in the ocean, or even if we imagine all forms of life in the ocean this very moment, we can’t as simply imagine those particles of life becoming the wave. More organically we can imagine ourselves moving with the wave, allowing an experience of oneness as this brand new form of the ocean has come into expression. By riding with it, we become the change. Both the phrase, “Be the Change,” and the imagery of riding with and not against a wave has been used countless times- but it takes the power of practicing our spirituality every day a new to truly be the change. We get a choice, often thousands of tiny choices each day, as to how exactly we will flow into and with the always expanding, expressive Universe. Choose powerfully, choose consciously, choose purposefully.
Easier said than done, believe me I know. Some changes are easier than others. For me the change of leaving Seal Beach Center for Spiritual Living has been at times unbearable. I have found myself going against the wave of change to almost painful extents. It has often felt impossible to just move gracefully as one with each passing wave of leaving Seal Beach Center for Spiritual Living. Yet in the process I have deepened my understanding and experience of oneness. I am not leaving Seal Beach Center for Spiritual Living, I am expanding my spiritual community and connections. In even the tiniest of changes made during this transition, I realize now that it is an expansion, not a retraction of this thing called Life. Just as a new wave comes in, it doesn’t eradicate the wave before it, it is an expansion of it. Each wave is an expansion of the ocean as a whole. And maybe amidst my painful and often ungraceful wipe-outs during this process there was a tiny seed of deeper knowing, consistently watered by a choice to explore my spirituality in practice, contemplation and prayer. And so it is.