Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Morning Bus-Riding Thoughts

Bus photo from

I think the stress is getting to me, or I'm choosing to be stressed.  Some of both, probably.  I'm too sponge-like for my own good.  I tend to absorb the political angst around me - Republican efforts to dismantle unions, most recently.  It's sad seeing the ranks whipped up to hate and fear their own neighbors, their own public servants.  Meanwhile, corporate leaders preach about how American labor is too expensive, so they'll just move to Ireland.

I'm reading Thich Nhat Hahn's new book, Peace is Every Breath. I so often get seduced into thinking that all my worry-energy is something real, that some real kind of work is going on in my whirring brain.  Meanwhile I don't connect with the people right in front of me (right now, also on the bus, a couple of neighbors, Michelle and Barb, talking abuut cooking some kind of potsticker, or how best to handle tofu).

The sun is veiled with a thin cover of cirrus clouds over the downtown buildings as we pause at Nicollet Mall to do the big bus-rider exchange, letting my neighbors go on to their connecting routes and bringing on new passengers for the University's West Bank or South Minneapolis.  It's unexpectedly cold this morning, an icy wind bringing down the temperature in spite of the sun's efforts to melt the skating rinks on the sidewalks.  I've started leaving my big clunky Sorel® boots at home (handed down from a growing son), as most sidewalks are clear by now.  I'll don them again tomorrow, with yet another snow fall predicted.

Let me pledge to return to awareness of my breath, of my body moving in space, surrounded by other breathing, parka-wrapped mammals.  Let me pause to savor moments of beauty.  Let me pause before speaking, with intention that my words reflect kindness and compassion, not an aim to defend myself.  Let me cultivate hope.  Let me know and express gratitude.  Let me dare to be alive, to try newness, to grow.