We never know what a day may bring.
This morning when I got up I turned the faucet and no water came out. This happened once before and it thawed after awhile but this time not only did it not but there was water running off the roof line just outside the kitchen window and the hot water heater in the laundry room was making a rather dreadful noise. I made a few calls and then took care of all of the animals.
Oddly, or better put, fortunately, there was water in the middle bathroom so I was able to get the animals water and some water to make The Sacred Latté. My mindfulness practice notwithstanding had the day gotten underway with no latte, well, I just won’t go there…
Momentary panic did set in when I couldn’t figure out how to stop the water heater from churning and banging about. I tried all the circuit breakers to no avail, I turned one little nob I thought might shut the water off only to have it spew a nasty, brownish looking water at me. Fortunately I turned it off quickly too so I just had a bit of mucky water to clean up. The gentleman finally called me back to say that he could be here in about 90 minutes and so I just took a deep breath, shut the door to the laundry room, picked up wee Delilah to snuggle her tiny puggy girl self in my lap, and reached down and stroked and rubbed the silken heads of my wee boys who settled into their beds around me.
There was nothing for it, I had done what I could do, which wasn’t much, help was on the way, and I thought back to years I would have been in hysterics and terrified. Solitude is all well and good when the pipes aren’t frozen and the water heater is minding it’s own business but when you are alone and things go awry and you don’t know just how bad they are, well, equanimity can seem an impossible task. But finally you do what you can do and then you let go.
I sat here and pretty quickly pulled myself out of the “worst case scenario” place my colorful mind might wander, and I just hunkered down. I breathed. I said my mantra, “In this moment, we are fine…” and we were, and we are.
It seems that water pipes run in my attic and something froze and cracked up there although by some miracle in a place that has not wet all the insulation but is just kind of leaking down the side of the house. Or something. Technical I’m not. When the gentleman got the water heater turned off and did a number of other things that he could do to keep us holding on until Monday when he can come back he did a few other little things for me and then the most miraculous thing happened. He started to talk to me and it was like a miracle had occurred.
Larry had been a minister and though not currently working in that capacity this gentle, kind man talked to me for some time and at one point I cried, tears of joy, of being so moved by a story he told me that I was just overcome. His ministry is person to person, in the world, and some of the simple acts of kindness he performs are nothing short of miracles. So it was here today. I had been okay when he arrived but somehow I felt transformed when he left. It was as though, today, the frozen, cracked pipes were beside the point. The gift was Larry. (Somewhere along the line that old show “Touched By An Angel” ran through my mind and I smiled to myself. There seems to be a lot of angels around these days.)
After he left I walked outside with the dogs. He said there would be no hot water but I can deal with that. As long as I can take care of the animals and keep us warm that is fine with me. A peace came over me. It was that kind of peace that says, there, see, this happened and you are fine, and you will always be fine, one way or another. To me, this is faith. I know that things happen in the world, hard things, painful things, but in each moment we tend what we can, the best that we can, we breathe deeply, and we relax into the moment at hand.
I had a little flutter of fear awhile ago but it passed. It is getting very cold and I need to turn up the heat. I think the dogs and I will head to our cozy couch with blankets and pillows and watch a movie or something this evening. I have books to read and I can take my lap top over there and just relax into whatever this is, all that this is, right here, right now. It is grace to live fully in any moment, no matter what. There is peace to be found in each moment, always. We can always take a deep breath, we can feel what it feels like to be in our body, we can reconnect with everything around us and feel the deep satisfaction of being in a world where the smallest things might bring great comfort.
I have begun to draw again and gathering my pastels and supplies around me again, feeling the rich, smooth texture gliding across the page is delicious, sensual, a deep delight. I will add art supplies and journal and sketchbook to my rolling cart that goes from studio to Cozy Room, a moveable feast…
I think, in fact I’m almost certain, that when you write from a place of wanting to help others as much as sharing your own experience you will be tested from time to time to see if you are truly walking your talk. I am imagining that to be the case because I stopped writing above to feed the dogs, get them out, get all of the animals, parrots and pugs, water bowls filled with fresh water while we have some cold water running, and, carrying Miss Scarlet’s water bowl down the side steps from the kitchen into the studio, two steps that are just a tad too high and the only thing left in the entire house still carpeted, I slipped and fell, the water went everywhere, and I kind of ended on my bum and then over on my side in a puddle of water.
The pugs came racing at me with looks that only pugs can get. They do the famous pug head tilt with grave concern on their funny little faces and my beloved old man Sam who won’t move a muscle without me crowded in and pushed his face into mine. I was so stunned that I laid there kind of aching and dripping trying to figure out what to do. It took me a minute to gather my wits, those few that hadn’t run across the floor (I kind of had that image from childhood when you dropped a thermometer and it broke and the mercury inside splattered and broke apart going hither and yon but always seemed to roll back toward one another and become one again. It is an image that stays with me and really kind of tickles me.) and consider how I might get up.
This is not an easy task for me because my feet and knees being what they are, and no carpet, means pushing up on hard linoleum floor. Finally I sat up and grabbed the steps and pulled myself back up, backwards, onto the bottom one, and then the next, and finally, grabbing the door frame and sending up a prayer, made it up the rest of the way. This is why I never even walk about my house without my cell phone, in case I need help, but I am bound and determined to take care of what I can, and I did.
I got dry things on, got another bowl of fresh water for Miss Scarlet, and sat, a bit slowly, back down in my chair. Took aspirin, got the heating pad going on my back, and just kind of settled down. I have a bottle of kefir here for comfort and a big mug of cold water, and I do, in fact, and indeed, feel peaceful.
These things happen, jarring jolts of the unexpected in life, frozen pipes and tumbles down stairs, but in the end one just does what they can and gets on with it. I actually feel kind of cheerful, no, not kind of, I feel outright full blown cheerful. I think it is because no matter what has happened today I sit here right now, writing to you, and we are all well here, and I am so grateful for every little thing and every little body in my world, and I am most happy to see that I can maintain my equilibrium and even my equanimity after a bumpity bump bump down the steps.
God is in His heaven and all’s right with the world, as the saying goes, and all is right here at Dragonfly Cottage too. Isn’t that grand? I am just smiling so big at you. Real big.
Be at peace, be well, and know that wherever you are, whatever is happening, if you just hold on to this very moment you will be okay…
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