Thứ Hai, 10 tháng 6, 2013

Dear World

You are here.

I didn't have to read any further when I saw the book with that title.

You are here. I felt at peace and I smiled. 

The wind blows my hair across my face and I’m grateful no one can see my tears as I look out across the water at the place that felt like home, even after a mere 8 days. Ah, Koh Phangan. What an endearing ending after the perfect 7 weeks in Chiang Mai...

The ferry ride is bitter sweet.

Where am I going?

I’m not so sure.

But my heart is full.

It’s so full that it feels like bursting. It’s so full that I start to wonder if it’s right. How can my heart be this full, when I see so many others in sadness, in anger, in frustration?

But, no. I promised myself I would no longer live from a place of doubt.

Although, I have to be honest with you…as I flip through photos on my phone from the past 2 months in Thailand… I feel spoiled.

I feel undeserving.

I think, “why me? How did I get so lucky?”

Painted sky sunsets. Crystal clear waters. Smiling faces…from France, from Germany, from Korea…

 Each photo brings a thousand stories to mind.

Lucky. What a silly word.

I know that I am here for a reason. Thailand is not a place where I laid in the sand and forgot about my worries with a cold beer in hand. Thailand is not a Full Moon Party. Thailand is not a jungle of wonders, nor a backpackers haven.

Thailand is a place where I met Danni and Tai and they shared stories with me about their lives growing up on a tiny island. Thailand is a place where I sang songs at the top of my lungs to the strumming of a guitar with my feet stuck in the sand. Thailand is a place where I realized that I was home.

It is a place where I sat and I thought about life. Sometimes for many hours. Most times with tears in my eyes and an affectionate smile on my face.

It is a place where somestimes I sat and I didn’t think. I just felt the breeze fluttering my eyelashes... Where I noticed a bird picking berries out of the trees silently. Where I breathed salty sea air and I felt my body smile.

It is a place where I made a promise to myself to live more virtuously. It is a place where I said my home is my soul and my body dutifiully carries this soul that I share with the Universe and I need to know and remember that.

"Lucky. Undeserving. Spoiled."

What kind of thoughts are these? Whom does it serve to feel this way?

Today, I promise myself something knew: that I will live to serve this planet. Because I will be forever indebted to the beauty it has showed me.

Fortunate is the word. Fortunate to have perfect health. Fortunate to have inspiration, courage and support. Fortunate to be.

And so I promise you, world, that I will live the rest of my life serving you. I will live each moment with content. Smiling at my food the loving hands that brought it to my plate. Giving thanks to the beautiful company I have around me at all times. Bowing to the crimson sunsets and bright green leaves.

I will not litter. I will not steal food by eating more than I need to nourish me. I will love my brother animals and my sister fish, by not accepting a plate that was created in violence or dishonor.

I will offer a gift to everyone I meet, and that gift will be this smile.

Because I will remember Kaife, and how he taught me about Buddhism and the Thai king and how a life of service is a life worth living.

Because I will remember Vanessa, and how we made a bungalow our home and we shared deep conversation over fresh fruit breakfasts and light laughter over late nights.

I’ll remember the first time Danni said “no sugar? But why would there be sugar in a fresh coconut?”

And I’ll remember Tai and how he wrote songs about the lost souls, wandering his beach in search of something they’ll never find until they can learn to see themselves.

And so my first duty everyday will be friendliness, because I owe the world a thousand times over, for all the love that has been given to me by these Thai people. By my travel mates. By my family. By my friends at home. By my teachers, my gurus, my sacred books, my whole livelihood.

I look up from my computer screen as I swallow back tears and I take a deep breath, drinking in this most sweetest elixir of life.

Blue water, bright sky, innocent planet- I owe to you my existence. Please forgive me for all those times I harmed you with my unconscious decisions to walk in fear, stress and anxiety- printing dirty footprints on your green lands.

Lord, awaken me each day with light and love in my soul, so that I may remember to live more mindfully. Guide me in nonviolence, cultivating self-confidence so that my insecurities may not harm myself and others. Let me treat every living being with respect- if it shall be my parents, my peers, a stranger, a pig, a cow,  a chicken or a plate full of good energy.

World, have faith in us. We have created boundaries and separation, violence and pollution, fear and misunderstandings. But have faith in us. Because we are a race that is still learning and there are good people here who walk around reaching for hands to hold so that one day we can all come together again. Have faith in us, like I do in you.

I feel you in me.

And as I get ready to transport back to the other side of the globe, I am happy you are here.

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