Winter Retreat 2013, Don’t be afraid to cry…
To my dismay and chagrin, I wept three times on the plane. First, when a passenger behind me made thoughtless remarks about a tiny girl who could not stop fussing and crying as the plane took off. He pulled the stewardess aside.
Can’t you ask them to control that child?
His harsh tones cut through me.
I immediately thought of my own father, who was so unlike that man. He would never think to admonish a child for simply being afraid, and tears filled my eyes unexpectedly.
I missed him so. His absence left a ragged hole bereft of his kind, gentle spirit.
A bit later in the flight, I absentmindedly looked down at my own hands, and the sight of mom’s wedding and engagement rings made me cry again. I thought of their marriage, how dad proposed on Christmas Eve, back in 1950, how they reached the milestone of sixty years the year they both died.
I cried yet again, as I looked over at my husband, and it sunk in that we were really here, on our way to New Mexico, a trip we had daydreamed about for ten years, a first vacation for us.
I pulled myself together by the time we arrived in Albequerque. The trip consisted of two flights with a connection in Chicago and a total of about six hours in the air. By this time I was feeling elated at having touched land again, and the beautful interior of Albequerque airport made it that much easier to be happy – it seemed that there was color and art everywhere and the atmosphere was palpably lighter. Albequerque airport was smaller and quieter of course, than Newark – that overly complicated tangle of electric lights, smoke and noise. As we stepped towards the easily found baggage claim, I looked to the right and saw a little white door with blue letters that spelled out Meditation Room.
I was so grateful to the private sanctuary where I could cry freely, releasing the tears that had begun on the plane. I thought, well, Renee, you may be doing more crying than you think on this trip. You are being given the gift of space, Space to let your heart expand and open up. Space in the land, the sky , the air and the lack of demands upon you. I wept and was filled with gratitude. I felt like a lot had happened and we hadn’t even gotten our luggage off the plane!
Especially for my fellow travelers in bereavement, some gems I found in a little book of Native American proverbs:
Don’t be afraid to cry,
It will free your mind of sorrowful thoughts. Hopi
The soul would have no rainbow if the eyes had no tears. Minquass