It’s 5:45am on Tuesday, February 2, and I just walked outside onto our front porch after finishing my meditation. Rain is lightly falling on the half-inch of ice covering about three inches of snow in our front yard. The mini-dozer that removes snow across the street in the parking lot is gone and the only sound is the tinkling of invisible raindrops dancing on the ice-covered snow.
The tree in the front yard looks like an ice sculpture, with each bare branch weighed down by the frozen water, icicles soundlessly dripping down toward the garden. There is no other noise except the soft rain. No cars. No trains. No voices. Peace.
I grew up in a trailer park. It was not a “mobile home estate”. It was just a trailer park. We lived in a two-bedroom, 50 foot long by 10 foot wide Nashua, about ten or twelve feet from our neighbors. One of my most comforting childhood memories is lying there in bed listening to the rain on the metal roof. It didn’t rain often in southern California, but even the slightest rain sounded like ball bearings being dropped on the top of the trailer. It never frightened me; it was if the Universe was lulling me to sleep, soothing me.
I was reminded of that this morning as I looked out from the porch, two cats just inside the storm door wondering what this human was doing outside in the cold wearing only his pajamas and house slippers. The peace. The comfort. The quiet.
That’s when I notice the asphalt, which was so shiny. Soon neighbors would be getting ready to leave for work, school busses would be on the road in spite of a delayed start to the school day, and inevitably someone driving would have his or her mind on something other than slippery roads. Such beauty, yet such danger. Or was it?
When I moved to the northeast United States I was given one word of advice about driving on ice: DON’T! Life is like that, too. There are some things in life we really have no business doing. It’s not the same for each of us. I can have a glass of wine with dinner if I choose; a person who is a newly-recovering alcoholic may not be able to be in the same room with an unopened bottle. It is a different experience of danger brought about through our circumstances.
Where is there danger in your life that you could eliminate? Dieting with a full bowl of M’n’Ms in the living room by the chair your sit in to watch TV? Probably not a wise move. Trying to establish a more intimate relationship with your spouse or lover, but spending more time watching porn online than cuddling together? Not so much. Wanting to look our best, but haven’t flossed in weeks? You get the picture.
The Universe is not a dangerous place. It is a place of love, peace and wonderment, just like the ice portrait outside our house right now. We set ourselves up for danger by placing ourselves in situations in which we should not, and often need not, be. Choose just one thing this week that you feel is dangerous to you – just one. We don’t need danger for excitement. We can find excitement in the fullness of Life, the beauty of Nature, and the touch of a loved one.
In Spirit, Truth and Playfulness,