Rich with Love
Last night I dreamt of my Nan, she was making my dad a bacon sandwich in my old kitchen; she was younger than I ever remember her and more beautiful with a really good blow dry. She was so vibrant and happy. (Dreams are weird) I touched her face and kissed her and felt such disbelief and joy to see her. My Nan has been dead for as long as my daughter has been alive. She has been dearly departed for eighteen years, which feels both like it’s gone in a blink and at the same time forever. (Time is weird).
My Nan was more Buddhist than most of the trainee Buddhists I have ever come across on my yogic path. She was the embodiment of calm and peaceful. Maybe the poor eyesight and hard of hearing of old age helps with that; hear no evil, see no evil …… She was the very essence of love; she is still my role model. In reality I am probably more like my other lovely Nan who would speak to everyone and cry at everything and constantly worry that everybody was okay. I had such wonderful women to set the perfect example of how to nurture and love my own family. And their lives were a very far place from anywhere near easy.
This time of year I normally have a rant about how much I hate the commercialism of Christmas or I will go the other way and get all soppy about the things I love, like carols on the Green and drunken parties with my friends (remember those happier days!) I will always be grateful for my people. I mean gifts are nice but surely this year has taught us what’s important. Yes Netflix is a lifesaver and wine has helped but it is the people that we love during this strange existence that make the journey worthwhile.
That very real dream I had stayed with me. That burst of intense love for my long dead Nan felt as powerful and real as if she really was standing before me and I could smell the bacon. People I know and care for have experienced deep loss this year. What a terrible experience that must be to deal with in these awful times. My son asks if I had a super power what it would be. I think I’d try to make sense out of death. I believe that we aren’t dead at all; I think we just go hang out somewhere else in some magical realm with all our (dead) nearest and dearest and run this relay race of being born and dying. Depending on where you are placed in the line up and when you get to take your turn there will be cheering and crying on both sides. (I know I am a bit odd). But I would ease that pain and emotional loss that death brings with it if I could, you know if I did have a superpower instead of just words and the ability to send flowers.
So love is a funny old thing isn’t it. It is always so associated with kindness and compassion and giving and liking and all the nice happy emotions. It conjures up images of honeymoon periods and newborns and first love and all the excitement and positivity and lustful headiness that bounce along with it. Love in reality is the rebellious teenager; she’s the crazy bitch and the addict. She is jealousy and fear and neediness. She’s tough as old boots. She has to be if she’s going to hang in there. Truth is if you really and truly are going to love with all your heart it runs a very high risk of being broken from time to time. Wait until grief shows up to give you a master class in the true meaning of love.
Easy people are easy to love you can do it on auto pilot and those people are a pleasure and a gift. You can sleep walk your way through loving them. Try not to take them for granted. I’m guessing the ones that make you dig down deep for tolerance and understanding, patience and forgiveness they are a gift too. A gift you might wish came with a fully refundable receipt. The Buddhists would call them your treasure. That’s where we grow. That’s a different kind of love altogether, you have got to mean business, you have got to buckle up for that kind of love. Love is light but it’s dark too. Otherwise it’s not really love.
This temporary lapse in time that forbids human touch and connectivity must be for some higher purpose. We don’t need half of the stuff that we think we do and work ourselves to death to acquire, do we? We need our friends and family and work colleagues and friendly faces in our community. We need human connections. We need to feel a love so deep that it wakes you up from a dream state and you can still feel it even though it’s been gone for nearly two decades.
People worry what will become of us all if we aren’t educated and graded in the ways that we are used to. That achievement and qualifications will ensure our success as productive humans and provide us with everything we think we will need. When my youngest son was small he asked if we were rich, I said we were rich with love. He said he wanted to be rich with money; it did make me laugh. My Nan probably didn’t attend school for very long, she lived through two world wars and brought up seven children in a tiny house with little income. Her home was full of love. I think she was very rich indeed.
We need to find our way back loving what is really important. I hope we can all connect again soon. I hope your Christmas is merry and bright. I pray for a happier healthier 2021
Fun fact my name means worthy of being loved