Roots of Love

As some of you know, my wife ran the 2013 Boston Marathon last week. It was her first one, and I was there with friends and family to cheer her on. The pre-race days before were filled with… fun and anticipation! The race expo. Driving the course. Dinner with the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute Marathon Challengers. Readying her support team! Decorating the hotel room.

About the day of… so much already has been said. With everything that happened and didn’t happen that day, there’s something important that I want to tell you: I felt the spreading root system that holds us and connects us.

I felt love and concern streaming in from friends and family by text message, on FB, by phone. The flood of kindness, almost overwhelming, continued in the following days with rides home from the airport and food and healing tokens and generosity.

Feeling this helps with the fear, sadness, and anger. When I’m pulled toward the nervous system tripwires and the ubiquitous media coverage and the bad dreams, I try to remember to go to the roots.

Since coming home, I find myself lingering with the small things. Daily stuff. Teaching. Taking care. I’m aware that this is partly about seeking a feeling of safety within the illusion of control. The to-do list can be made, and each item on the to-do list can be completed and crossed off. This is understandable, I think.

Also I appreciate teaching. It’s been helpful to me. Showing up to teach has required that I’m here, that I rely on the tools that I teach, and that I lean into the dharma. Feeling the emotions rise and fall; knowing feelings as feelings. Movement, awareness, breath. These too are the roots of connection.

A friend wrote to me this morning, “As you know so well, eventually your experience will help you open your heart even more, if you can skillfully continue to be with the aftermath still resonating within you. Yes, thank goodness for the practice!” Thank goodness, and may the heart continue to open.

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