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Ahh, at last!  Sunlight!  After four days and nights of rain and clouds, the sky began to clear enough for the moon to appear last night.  Then this morning – real, bright sunshine bursting through the clouds.  How did you survive this period of rain and cold?  How are you surviving the government shut-down, the craziness in our congress that threatens our economy and way of life?

I lean on my meditation practice, trying to stay in the present moment, mindful that we are spinning on Planet Earth at a great rate of speed around the sun.  Everything changes.  I can’t find ultimate security in any single person, place, thing or government.  Having the Earth as the ground upon which I stand reminds me of the need for rain, for clouds, for change to bring about growth necessary for our survival.  My feelings sometimes wilt with rain, yearning for the sunlight.  Then it is important for me to keep doing “the next right thing,” to keep moving, to be outdoors even when the weather is uninviting, to stay close to positive people like my husband, to focus on helping others, to love.  I know from years of experience that the sunshine will come through the clouds, that the other side of sadness is joy, that problems help us find solutions.

I look for understanding from wise ones, like Thich Nhat Hanh in his Love Letter to the Earth (p. 37):  “We should put on our seat belt (of mindfulness).  We should enjoy every moment.  In each of these moments (cloudy or sunny), we can be in touch with the wonders of life.  We don’t need to run away from or cover up our painful feelings or try to forget unpleasant memories.  We don’t need something to help us to forget.  We only need to know how to remember; we need to know how to create moments of joy and happiness, how to water what is nourishing within us, and how to become aware of the wonders of life around us.”  Within each rain drenched leaf on the tree is the sunbeam of energy and life.  Within my heart is all I need to be happy in this moment.

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