I found myself in an ideal meditation spot the other day.  I thought of those meditations that take your mind to a relaxing place.  One where you feel peace and safety and perhaps see beauty.  I was there, on the beach near the house we are living her in Te Puru, New Zealand.  The tide was coming in, the sun was beginning to set.  The air was cool and I was able to sit down on a rock that was set up as a step, and just look out onto the ocean.  I heard the birds and watched them frolick in the water.  The waves rushed in and the water pattern rippled through the rocks and the rhythm of the water was soothing music.  The layered pattern of the clouds as the sun permeated through them made me think of the complex layers of our lives and of humanity. 

Across from me, the horizon of the land on the other side of the firth gave subtle shadows.  It was quiet but it was not silent. I could listen to nature and it was such a gift.  A gentle breeze confirmed that I was really there and as the minutes passed, the patterns of the sky continued to change.  If I concentrated I could smell and even taste the salt in the air mixed with a mild moist humidity.  I  have burned this into my memory, so that I can return there.

Not too many hours later, in the middle of the night I needed to take my mind there.  It was far from that place though and I was cursing this experience.  I was awakened by a single mosquito, yet again.  How can such a small creature be so loud?  Buzzing, buzzing, buzzing so obnoxiously in my ear. And then briefly stop, when I know for sure it is seeking nourishment at my expense from my body.  And then the itching and the buzzing return.  I think I am going insane.  I swat out in the dark.  I hear Mark restless too.  One little mosquito ruining the night.  We turn the light on and go on a safari chase after the intruder.  Grabbing a dirty t-shirt we whip it through the air blindly chasing that buzz.  Finally successful, with a smear of success against the wall, we are able to go back to sleep.

But alas, I cannot sleep.  My mind keeps buzzing, buzzing, buzzing.  But this time it is my thoughts.  My mind is buzzing with all the decisions we have made that have brought us here to New Zealand and all the decisions we are making now for our return to the US. How will we do it smoothly? Where we will move?  What are the finances?  Where we will live?  What is the right balance of work and home?  What have we learned here?  What are the schools like?  …and so many more questions…

But I need to stop and listen.  How do I hear the buzz and know just outside are those calm waves and birds singing as the sun begins to rise?…

Thank you for this day, it’s beauty and it’s light.
Thank you for my chance to begin again.
Free me from my limitations of yesterday.
As I begin today, I open to receive you.
May my mind stay centered on things of spirit.
May I be this day an instrument of love and healing.
Give me your deep peace that I might put only love and goodness out into the world.
Help me see the love and innocence of all,
Behind the masks we all wear and the illusions of this worldly plane.
I pray for my brothers and my sisters and myself;
May we find our way home from pain to peace, from fear to love.


–  Marianne Williamson

Someone at work gave me this prayer and I have it posted over my desk. It helps me listen…