Happy Days, Mindfulness

Happy 100 Days: 31

We stand in the mist outside the restaurant stretching out our goodbye. One of the servers lingers by the back door smoking a cigarette and peering into his cellphone. Streetlights yellow the asphalt. The rain let up hours ago but it feels like it could start to fall again now.
“I don’t know if I’m saying too much,” she says. I want to tell her that a 12 year friendship allows for speaking versions of the truth that are hard to choke down. And anyway, tonight’s version will not stay. This right here is not anything like the last time we stood in the same spot on a June night two summers ago. I had just celebrated my 5th anniversary by realizing my marriage was over. This friend listened to me gasp through the dawning awareness that life would never again look anything like it almost had.
Now, it is a birthday dinner with gossip and giggles.
“Oh, just say it,” I tell her.
“It’s just. . . well, don’t let your fears about money consume you.” She nods to herself and looks at me with something like apology. Over our brown rice and sweet veggies, I had told her all about the condo. About how life is about to become even tighter. About how I still wheedle Giovanni about earning power and crack beans-and-rice gallows humor no one finds funny anymore.  She goes on. “I see what that narrow focus on money can do to a person. With my mother, it’s a real wake-up call. She has always had enough. She still does. But a day doesn’t go by that she isn’t obsessed with how she will make ends meet.” She pauses. Then,in a quiet voice, “It’s a miserable way to live.”
I take this in. “It’s a funny thing about abundance, isn’t it?” I say. “How if you start believing that you have enough, then you start to find these reserves of energy and creativity that make it possible to have enough.”
She laughs. “If I took half the time I spent worrying about things and used it on projects, just imagine how much I could accomplish!”
We hug and say our good nights. As I head home, I chew on the truth of her advice. She is right, of course. When I am rested and right in my head, it is as if I wake up in a parallel universe. “Look at all this,” I marvel. “Look how much is right here!” On these rare days, maybe one in a year if I am lucky, the whole earth falls open and offers herself up to me.
Love in abundance. Security in abundance. Resources, ideas, opportunities in abundance. Creativity is a river. Truth spills from unlikely mouths. The bond between my son and me caulks the fissures in the universe. The clock’s tempo shifts and the day spreads a blanket under the sun and reclines there, leaving room for everyone.
At an edge of the clearing,a breeze parts the trees and reveals the hidden trail.
There will be plenty to eat on the journey. There will be plenty of time to rest. There will be plenty to learn and plenty of companionship.
There will be plenty.
Right here is plenty.

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