It was my request to go to Wakaw Beach. I thought it might help my mood to be around water, beach, and feeling the air come off the open water. I have been so emotionally down this week. I remember a coworker returning from vacation and feeling down and lost so this must be normal but it feels like crap.
I do not like my surroundings; Saskatchewan seems depressing to me. Feeling and thinking this way bothers me. I have always loved to look at the flowing wheat and barley in the endless fields as I drove. The golden fields would be interrupted by yellow canola flowers and purple flax – so many colours. I have always loved Saskatchewan’s beauty. I thought that enjoying a prairie lake would revive the Saskatchewan heart that beats in me. Instead I find myself crying. I needed water and sun but this beach is not the same as ocean water and the red earth of PEI. There are even sail boats on the water but none of it matters.
I cry and Craig giggles at me that I am so emotional about it. I know he doesn’t mean to hurt me but he does. It is a little crazy I suppose but I really miss my vacation and the feelings it gave me.
I wonder if God is playing some sort of joke on me. I have been suffering all week for sun, beach and ocean breeze only to go to a lake and see sailboats and hear kids screaming about ‘waves’. The ripples from a moving boat on a still lake has no comparison to the smell or feeling that an ocean wave offers. There are so many similarities yet differences that I am struggling to hang on to what little happiness and substance I have.
To make matters worse, Teela will return to daycare soon and Craig’s pressure for me to work will increase tenfold. After this weekend is over I have to look for work. I can’t go back to my previous life of working all day and being exhausted in the evenings, trying to live my life in those few hours before bed. I can’t do it. Craig is going to make me. His stress and pressure is going to be more than I can withstand.
Yesterday I was at the park with my three-year old, Teela. We went to a new park and there were many kids around her age playing about. We took out her sand toys, attracting other kids, and soon she was into her not sharing mode. This immediately took me to this quote I read once.
“Here’s a test. an elderly lady behind you says to her husband, “Maple’s my favorite!” Do you like the donut enough to leave it for her?” (The Essential Yoga Sutra by Geshe Micheal Roach and Christie McNally – Sutra 2.7 – 2.9)
This has always stumped me. Do I like something enough to give it away? What a thought. The authors are trying to explain the concept of grasping and its relation to liking and disliking things. He argues that liking that donut is a ‘stupid’ kind of liking. We need to find the mistake in that kind of liking and learn to tell the difference between ‘stupid’ liking and ‘smart’ liking. Liking peace and helping others would be smart liking in a very general sense. It is harder to apply in every day life and even more so in the heat of the moment like at the park when you are three years old and sharing toys against your will because your mom says so.
Does my little girl like the sand toys enough to leave them for these kids at the park? No, her brain development is not there. The ego is strong in our young ones as they find their sense of being. In reading Eckhart Tolle’s book The New Earth he shares a story of a women who is terminally ill that he spends time with as a counsellor. She looses a ring that is very special to her. He asks her some very good questions.
“Do you realize that you will have to let go of the ring at some point, perhaps quite soon? How much more time do you need before you will be ready to let go of it? Will you become less when you let go of it? Has who you are become diminished by the loss?”
I especially like the last one. I am going to think of that question many times while I go through the process of decluttering my house and life. I think of that question a lot when I hold onto family heirlooms I have of my anscestors. I am so passionate about family history and holding onto things of my grandmothers or great grandmothers that I do feel my identity is wrapped up in it. At some point I will have to let it go.
Since Teela was in such a fowl mood (she has a head cold) we packed up our toys with the intention of leaving before things got worse for Teela. As we walked away I wondered if I had something special and someone showed an interest in it could I like it enough to give it to them?
As I head out to my back five acres for my ritual walk I see the trees my husband and I planted five years ago popping up from the earth. What were once seedlings are now taller than my head. It has been great to be able to watch them grow. Yet I recognize that they will outlive me. I only have them to enjoy for what will be a short time in their life. I need to tell them that I alone am not responsible for them and can not get caught up in the idea that they are mine. For they will outlive me.
I have a cousin that is very dear to me. Frances, is a mentor to me. She is not only very wise but she holds our family history in her head. Not just the stories but she was there in the past with all its sensations. She is my greatest teacher on non-attachment. She is so wrapped up in her own attachments that it does cause her great suffering even though she knows better.
When I visit her I also visit her friends. The all say the same things. They talk of all the work they did to make a home, a yard, a place for their family to grow. Only to sell it to a stranger or worse for it to sit abandoned on the prairies.
They say similar things regarding their stuff, their family heirlooms. They had imagined giving their children their family table, crystal and good china. All these things the children happen to get on their own as wedding gifts or what not. Now, they do not need what their parents had to give them and these women are forced to just let all of it go. Not just the items but their stories in the items. That seems harder to detach from than the thing itself.
So here we are with all our stuff. Here we are in our homes with our nice cars parked near by. Things that we have worked hard to attain. Yet, do we get ourselves, our identity wrapped up in these things that we loose ourselves in them?