This has been such an intense week. Fear,anger,sadness,curiosity, acceptance, disbelief, and confusion, seep through the shock and numbness and sweep through me in waves.
On Friday early in the morning I was paralyzed with fear and despair unable to get out of bed. I was thinking about turning 70 while Donald Trump is president and imagining all the horrible things the future could bring.
Then I remembered I still had 12 bulging trash bags filled with leaves on my front lawn. I knew if they sat on the grass for too long they would kill my already neglected lawn. It was around 7am and trash pickup would be happening momentarily. My trash can was filled to overflowing with three bags and my compost can with the contents of three more.
I bounded out of bed, threw on some clothes and shoes and began to walk around in the chilly morning checking my neighbors trash cans for room for a bag of leaves. I found a place for three bags and felt grateful I could lift them and shlep them around by myself. In the distance I could now see the garbage truck was on the way down my street.
I stood by my trash can feeling really cold waiting for the truck. The driver was driving on the passenger side next to where I was standing. My plan was to ask him if I could put three more bags in my emptied can and go across the street with my can when he came the other way and then do that all again the following Friday. I was feeling good about asking and doubtful about any of it happening. My faith in humanity was definitely shaken by the election results.
I breathed deeply and gathered my courage and respectfully asked to dump another load. Instead of blowing me off and saying he was too busy and driving on, he smiled and said " sure will you buy me a steak.?" I laughed and said I would buy him a virtual steak. I put three more bags in and watched happily as the truck gobbled them up. Then he said " go ahead" and motioned for me to keep going. He waited while I, as fast as I could and taking a while to lift all the heavy bags, put two more loads of three bags in my can as the automatic arm lifted them gracefully into the truck. I thanked him for his kindness and felt a wave of human connection energy with him. I was moved to tears at the ray of hope in a bleak time. Like the Lone Ranger he drove off. He left me with a warm smile saying" Remember me at Christmas".
I watched as he moved up my street. My neighbor forgot to put her can out and my new hero waited while she ran it out to the street. My neighbor and I met in the middle of our yards to share our good fortune and to marvel at the random acts of kindness we had witnessed in an intensely challenging time. I like her and we've spent almost no time together. We continued to talk and she invited me over for coffee and I went. We spent 2 hours together supporting each other about the election and sharing about our lives. This morning that had started out in despair ended in connection and hope.
So It is my intention that in the next fours years, I will embrace my feelings and be kind to myself and I will focus on noticing the kindness of others and being kind to others.
The Dali Lama said, "There is always time to be kind."
Today the peace quote I get every day was Love loves to love love by James Joyce. What a lovely idea that I want to remember every day. As I focus on the love that connects us all that loves creates more love and that loves loves loving. If love is really all there is I ask for the awareness of that love that is the foundation of all we rest on holding us in love in the midst of it all. That inner safety that is created by being held in love is inside of each one of us even when outer safety feels tenuous. I ask to be able to embrace my fear with self-compassion and let it release so that I have the space to trust in that love. I ask that for all of us.