We celebrate adult education at our Spiritual Center. On the last night of class, we often invoke a tradition. The students and teachers form a tight group, and Norm, a dedicated photographer, takes a picture.
Norm sent me a picture of recent class and quoted: “we walk(ed) sightless among miracles.”
I looked at the picture. I read the quote. And I think I cried a little; because I remember…
I remember the days when we used to hug each other. In our Center, hugs were not only reserved for close friends. We hugged randomly and unabashedly. Everyone who wanted a hug was embraced by love. I’m not even much of a hugger; but I miss it.
I remember gathering in Annette’s office for the pre-church prayer with volunteers. Like a pile of unruly puppies, we laughed, nudged, held hands, and told jokes too rowdy for church. We could stop the silliness on a dime and move into a prayer of exquisite grace – the contrast of profane and sacred leading to a deeper holiness.
I remember kneeling with my forehead on the floor, a prostration, minutes before I enter the sanctuary to facilitate the Sunday service. It’s a practice I learned in India. Get your heart above your head. Offer your life to the Divine. Bow to the congregation. It’s not about you Bonnie, it’s about service,” I say to myself. I can’t do that now without risking exposure.
I made so many assumptions about permanence, thinking that these mundane activities would belong to me forever. I assumed that these cherished activities were mundane. I walked “sightless among miracles,” not realizing that the commonplace homespun of our days is as sacred as a silk vestment.
I look back without whining or bitterness. I just see how wealthy we were. I know the days of hugs, and touch, and bowing will return. But in the meantime, I hope to remember all that I used to take for granted. I will remember simple things with reverence. I will exclaim “how wonderful is this place called existence; then and now, and we get to see it.”
What do you remember? What do you miss from pre-pandemic times?