Travel and transit is conducive to seeing fortuitous opportunities open up. Perhaps if we “had eyes to see,” we could see these openings in the regular workings of mundane life; but my life has been in transit for the last few years, so I am certainly more keen to appreciate the connections that open for me than I have been in the past.
Certainly I am more open to allowing life to open rather than needing to have it all planned.
I met a fellow couchsurfer today, from the couchsurfing.org network. We had talked via email. Its a long story, but the immediately relevant connection is that we both love Alaska. She traveled around this past summer and felt, like myself, a significant connection to the land, its wild and grand landscapes and animal life.
I really appreciate the beauty of this area of southern California, thank God for it! I don’t know if I could last long in an urban area without it! However, I look out over the wide ocean and I sometimes feel the ache of missing Alaska. My soul associates the ocean with wilderness and the particular majestic wilderness that is Alaska.
So why am I here and not in Alaska? That’s where the other yearning comes in: for mentorship in the contemplative tradition. I’ve been quiff immersed in study and contemplative practice for the last few years, and I’ve felt drawn more and more to be near someone who is experienced and knowledgeable about the path. Someone who has journeyed the contemplative journey.
There’s a story about an ancient Chinese sage who was coming to town, and there was a man who walked many many miles to see this guru, yet strangely, the man did not attend any of the guru’s speaking or teaching forums. Naturally, people were curious and asked the man why he had traveled so far and yet did not make the effort to hear the sage teach. The man replied that he did not come to hear the sage speak but to watch him walk.
There is something deeper about our walk, something more subtle and genuine comes through in the tone of our voice or the flickers in our eyes.
So what does one do when there are two yearnings, two equally valid pulls on the heart?