Sunday, July 14, 2013


I have watched our beloved mountains burn. Smoke billowing white or a ghastly orange~gray, told of trees igniting, flames rising high in the air, sparks showering down. Fox and bird, bear and rabbit fled en masse, individual hearts pounding as one and breaking, too, if young were abandoned. Fire fighters risked death, friends evacuated, tents filled the football fields.
As we walked through our home deciding what to take if we, too, were forced to evacuate, we recognized a second list forming as well~~the tally of all we would leave behind. Goodbyes, actual and potential, filled the air. Impermanence greeted us at every turn.
The Unbearable Lightness of Being was an eighties~era book and movie whose title returned to me in those first days of fire. Our existence is utterly transitory, so light it can be erased with one clot to the brain, or a single meteor hurtling through the atmosphere. The particulars of our outer lives are likewise uncertain. To the extent that we are attached to things remaining as they are, such lightness feels unbearable indeed. And yet…
If we shift our perspective just a bit, that lightness becomes exquisite. Each discreet moment then shines as an expression of a larger Essence, one that comes to us unbidden, asking nothing in return. This beloved dog, that wounded soul, a dear family member, the power of a summer storm unleashed…each a grace embodied, every one a blessing enticing us to open our heart.
Those who have lived through disaster seem to unanimously come out the other side with a greater sense of what truly matters. Though their words vary, they tell us that love is all that counts. Love and the ability to spend another precious day open to it all.
Years ago, national television coverage of the devastation wreaked by a summer hurricane included an interview with a Caribbean man. In his beautifully accented English, he said it well. “Big wind come along, blow it all away.”
At any moment, a big wind can come along and blow it all away. Or a lightning strike upon parched earth, whipped to a frenzy and ravaging everything in sight.
Life and death are inexorably linked, as are creation and destruction, hello and goodbye. Maintaining a balance amid these extremes is our challenge.
As we become more skilled in fully perceiving each moment in all its uniqueness, we grow better able to recognize the beauty shining through. We attune to that radiance, and learn to welcome it no matter the outer form. Impermanence is a fact, but how we greet it is up to us. Unbearable or exquisite, the choice is ours.
The Exquisite Lightness of Being. The book and the movie of our lives.

Namaste, dear friends!

Loanne Marie

P.S. The fire is now 100% contained and no longer visible to us. We never had to evacuate and no human lives were lost. Now we watch as Earth replenishes herself, using this devastation as she does all things~~to beget further life. You go, sweet Mama!