You are meant to be satisfied!!! Abraham-Hicks
Love is showing up fully with presence — openhearted, raw, and vulnerable to the world. It is the only thing that matters. Albert Flynn Desilver
“I feel pummeled.” That’s what I said to my husband Cam the Monday after Thanksgiving in the Minneapolis airport. “But in a good way.” And it’s true, I did feel pummeled. I still do, the way I felt pummeled when my friend Mary and I walked north for a week along the Portuguese Coast on our way to Santiago de Compostela, Spain a year ago. The waves rolled in off the open Atlantic, a warm salty breeze blew against our skin, and the sun shined down on us hour after hour, day after day during that magical first week in early October. And the wild sea tossed stones about, piles of them, threw them up onto the Portuguese beaches, pounded them smooth against grains of sand, and we, two pilgrims on a three hundred kilometer journey, collected the tiny ones as talismans, stuffed them in our pockets as we walked along. And the waves, they sang to us, a powerful constant rhythmic song, and the sand softened our bare toes and we were softened, too, tumbled and tossed and pummeled smooth like the stones at our feet, even as we stood strong on our northbound voyage.
It’s that deliciousness that I am talking about now, that I exclaimed to my husband a little over a week ago at the Minneapolis airport, a feeling of energy, strong powerful positive energy, blowing in, as if on an ocean breeze, blowing at us and through us, tossing and tumbling and pummeling us soft and open and clear and loving, while at the same time, not bowling us over. And that’s the powerful part. Mary and I were seduced by the sea, smitten by its salt air, overcome with our adoration for its beauty and power. It had its way with us. Our jagged edges were softened and our hearts opened, and, yet, we kept on walking; we didn’t thrash about in its gigantic waves, didn’t get swept away by its powerful currents. And to me, it is one of the best of feelings, to allow the high vibe ocean of life to course through body and psyche, while, at the same time, finding the steadiness of ground beneath our feet. And it doesn’t matter whether those feet are trekking along a beach at ocean’s edge or touching the earth hundreds or thousands of miles inland, doesn’t matter whether it is the ocean having its way with us or something else all together pummeling us soft. It might be a hike on a mountain trail, an afternoon conversation with a friend, an evening dancing our hearts out, wild and free. It might be a lover’s touch or the soft purring of a cat, a quiet summer sunset or a wind-thrashing blizzard — life is always ready and willing to pummel us with its love.
Sometimes the positive pummeling power of transformation comes when we aren’t expecting it. I was anticipating something quite different while navigating the airport walkways during a layover in Minneapolis the last Monday in November, something more like exhaustion or relief or a numbness that sets in after four days of intensity or maybe a hollow missing-them feeling. You see, Cam and I had just spent the Thanksgiving holiday weekend with our kids and grandkids in Moscow, Idaho where both sons and their families reside. Our family numbers have increased by two babies in the past five months, and, this particular weekend, there was the addition of another couple and their three-year old daughter, friends visiting town. Thanksgiving dinner this year was more wild sea than quiet breeze, more raucous laughter and baby gurgles, toddler clingings and little kid races than slow mindful eating — and the metaphoric sea maintained its powerful intensity throughout the weekend. Though there were the early morning alone times, and the sweet moments of steadfast attention shared with one or two of the five kids, there were many other moments when it was a grandparent glob of hand-holding and hip-slinging, of reading a book to one, while admiring the artwork of another, moments of surrendering to an energy that felt as powerful as the ocean rolling in while Mary and I walked the coast.
And here’s the surprise in all of this — the discovery that I made at the Minneapolis airport. I not only didn’t get swept under, pulled out to sea by all this Thanksgiving weekend intensity; I loved it, this pummeling whoosh of life. I wasn’t exhausted as the weekend came to a close. I walked through those airport corridors with the same vigor that I had walked the coast of Portugal with Mary. Softened yes, salt-soaked, for sure, but not bruised. The time with kids and grandkids had fed me, and, perhaps, that is the ticket, the free pass to feeling pummeled while not ending up black and blue, to love what we are doing so much that we can allow in an increase in wind velocity and still stay standing.
I knew that I was energized by being with the little ones. Walking with five-year-old Viren to kindergarten, or pretending we’re in a spaceship as he and I whoop and holler and take off down the big hill toward the Food Co-op in Grandma’s rental car is high-flying fun for the both of us. When two-year old Addie charges ahead with gung-ho enthusiasm, my battery charges itself too, and, when she asks for a hug — “No, Grandma, like this!” — a heart-to-heart, pressing closer slow and deep and lasting hug, I melt into the moment. Aila, at five-and-a-half months, wiggles and squirms and smiles and coos and sticks her toes in her mouth and is easy to scoop up and squeeze with an abundance of grandma gusto. And little one-month-old Wesley nestles in and makes little puff-breath noises, leaving a weight and a warmth even when he has returned to his mother’s lap. Of course, the little ones light me up. I love them dearly, feel alive and vigorous and happy in their presence. I have known this. However, I didn’t know that grandparenthood would pummel me smooth and soft and that the pummeling would feel so good. I didn’t know that I could stand strong in all its intensity over a prolonged period of time, that I could allow this whoosh of life to have its way with me, and, that, in the aftermath, walk away feeling more vigorous, more loved and in love with life than ever.
Thanksgiving weekend, 2017: Moscow, Idaho