Horses are escaping through a broken fence. I cut through the neighbor’s yard, and his dogs nip at me. I protect myself with a couch cushion from the horse owner’s house. I’m slogging through the mud on the road back to Shokan. It will be so easy for the cops to track me, a trespasser and a cushion thief. I wake up in a panic.
I get that anxiety every morning, since the flood. We are okay, our house is okay, and we got lots of help cleaning out the garage strewn with our mud-soaked possessions. There is more to do, but the garage was the worst. Other people were untouched, and some had it much worse.
What would my Christian Science practitioner say? That security does not come from the material world but from God, from our relationship with God. Maybe sometimes we have trouble connecting, but God is always there, always available, always harmonious. The discord comes from our own thoughts: that there’s too much work to do, that another storm will be an even bigger disaster.
But if that happens, we’ll deal with it somehow. Things may have to change, people or businesses may move away, but underneath, all is beauty and harmony. God is in constant motion. It’s our attachment to sameness that is the obstacle, not the change itself. Change is variety, sometimes clean slates, new beginnings. Or intricate dances, and we have to learn new steps.
Glenn Leisching led a water ritual in the Phoenicia Park yesterday, designed to heal our relationship with water after this overwhelming flood. About 25 people came, and we did a water ritual similar to the one I described in the previous post. Water is about harmony. Glenn said the Dagara believe floods come when the village needs harmonizing. If the people are out of step with each other, disasters give them the chance to get realigned and reconnected. It’s not a punishment but a remedy.
Part of my anxiety comes from noticing how dependent I am on electricity and telephones and Internet. But really that dependence is a dependence on other people who create and run the infrastructure. I am also dependent on roads and water and food. The dependence is a good thing—it connects me to other people, forces me to ask for help, gives people an opportunity to help each other, strengthening the community.
Our vitality comes from the relationships, not the stuff. Our relationship with God is primary, and our relationship with the community is an extension of our connection with God, since we are all reflections of God, ideas of God, little handfuls of God that unite and create beauty together.