My last nine days were lived in Cincinnati, Ohio. I was there to co-host a retreat over five days. The remaining days were buffer in entry and buffer in exit. To be in friendship and “field” with co-host Quanita Roberson. The retreat was 18 people together for five days. It was an online format. It was deliberate screen time. It was deliberate off-screen time. It was an experiment. It was a good one.
My last nine days were contributing to and enjoying a “field” if you will. An energy of being with this bunch of 18. Some meditation together. Some laughter. Some ritual and ceremony. Some questions posed and encountered. Some stories shared. All of it, I’m learning, if willing, creates a kind of coherence together. A woven-in feeling. An awareness of not just doing together, but of being together. In which the parts remain parts, but also dissolve to a whole.
My last nine days were a temporary reality. I don’t live in Cincinnati. I don’t live in retreat. I don’t live with these 18 people. There is something permanent in all of it. Yes, that feels true. Some phrases offered. Some insights shared. The mark of smiles, perhaps the feeling as a whole, last more than words.
Today I wake in my home in Utah. The temperature dropped to the 40s (F) last night. It definitely feels and looks like Autumn. Zucchini grew enormously while I was away. More tomatoes have turned green to various reds, oranges, and yellows. The light of morning comes just a few minutes later each day. The angle of sun shining through my living room window reaches further into the living room each day. Leafs on trees on mountains are now turning to patches of red, orange, yellow, and brown.
Today is also real. Itself temporary. Because all things change. Change in a way that is familiar, like the change of light’s angle through living room window. But also change with uniqueness, perhaps as age accumulates. Of course, the words of “temporary” challenge me into noticing what lasts, and what always is. That’s real too.
Today, I feel an awareness of fully loving the temporary that is today. And knowing that tomorrow, or even later today, might feel like another shift. Today, I feel awareness of the marked difference. Nine days in Cincinnati with 18 is another temporary. It’s all real. I’m just finding that the acute awareness of the temporaries bring a certain sweetness. Like the harvest of Autumn. Like flow with life, so often does.