Natalie (Goldberg, my favourite writer for writers) says (in The True Secret of Writing, her most beautiful book to date):
"There are many ways to meditate. Whatever opens us, softens the heart, makes us alive to this human world and helps us to bear it is our path."
I do sit and meditate in the usual way, most days, at some point. Ideally it's early in the day, and now that the weather is rapidly warming up, that will have to be the case if I want to do it outside. I love to do that, in my cherished back yard surrounded by greenery. Meditating indoors just doesn't feel the same.
Journalling afterwards opens me too. But today I wasn't early enough. Already it's getting too warm out here to be quite comfortable.
I was up early as usual, thanks to the cats. They wanted breakfast at 5, but I told them to wait and turned over to snooze. They're very good. They stopped miaowing and cuddled up next to me on the bed until I roused again at 6. After I fed them I went out and watered the garden, thankful that we have no water restrictions here and that it's a quiet cul-de-sac where I can go outside in my pyjamas and it doesn't matter. Usually no-one sees me at all, and if they did, it still wouldn't matter.
I am still in them. That's part of the trouble, part of the discomfort. I need to shower early these warm mornings, and get into a sarong if I'm staying home, a caftan if I'm going out. The nights are still a little cool — though I removed two blankets last night and packed them away — and my tween-seasons PJs are soon too warm as the day goes on.
Still, it's pleasant here. I began this habit of meditating and journalling last year, when Andrew was already booked into respite care for a fortnight, as part of the 'Writing As Spiritual Practice' course. It began the week before he went in. I continued through that fortnight and after he came home. Coincidentally the final day of the course was the same day he ended up in hospital and never came home again.
I interrupted this writing to check on the dates. That led to re-reading some of those journal entries, which made me cry. But it is salutary to remind myself of those times, when life was so very difficult for us both. I don't know how we got through it all so well, but we did. We were both extremely brave, I perceive, rising to the immense challenges, fairly good-tempered most of the time in the face of it all, and sustained by our love.
And yes — as I keep coming back to — it could not have gone on. The timing was right.
It was also wonderful timing for me to take that course — to meditate, journal, and engage with my spirit. These practices helped me in that saddest of times, and since. Thank you, Universe. I am well looked after.