Yesterday I met up with my son Jonah in the early afternoon to hang out. I dragged him to a Seattle vegan eatery, tea and juice bar. We ended up talking longer than planned and I found myself waiting for the bus late at night in the dark, cold gushing rain.
In my excitement to be on a warm bus, I forgot to check the bus number and got on the first one that showed up – which of course was the wrong bus. After I realized I was going the wrong direction, I got off on the next well-lit major bus stop to figure out where I was.
Between my iPhone and a kind, helpful couple at the bus stop, I saw that I only had a short (nice and scenic) walk to get to the right bus. But once I was there, it was a long, mysterious wait again in the cold, dumping rain.
This time I had a different attitude. I buried my head deep into the oversized hood of my soft, waterproof coat and my hands with furry gloves deep into my pockets. And then I simply let myself get drenched and be cold.
In the moment of pure acceptance, I realized I could have stood there all night without that being a problem. I stood calm and still and the whole universe seemed to do the same. There was so much stillness, it felt blissful.
I tell people the greatest sense of calm doesn’t happen when life is stress-free or easy. Pure tranquility happens right smack in the middle of some hardship, great or small…. But I’m still a little surprised when it happens.
You might notice that good things and bad things are always occurring, taking turns as the lead in a cosmic dance. Meanwhile, beautiful stillness is always there in any circumstance because it doesn’t come from a circumstance. It exists infinitely within us all. Stressful situations are always available to bring it out and the contrast makes it more deeply fulfilling.