Ideas that Impact is delighted to
host the joy of delight-filled Christine Egger
"A Moment of Joy"
We’d been moving for months, spending a night or a week or a month in a town or a city or a country. Traveling in little circles: days like this one from guest house to Burmese border and back. Inside bigger circles: two weeks from Bangkok to countryside and back. Inside the biggest circle: a year, tracing a path around the world before returning home again.
But at that moment on the bridge, we were standing very still.
Traditional trestle bridge, Sangkhlaburi, Thailand
Photo credit: Migrationology.com
I felt a rush of frustration. I looked across the bridge and felt it pulling at me. It was a familiar feeling, this tug to be somewhere other than where I was. That feeling was responsible for all of these circles, all of this traveling.
But his fear was real, and his apology was heartfelt. He was clearly miserable, unable to push through the force that kept his feet from taking another step.
I felt a rush of compassion. “It’s ok,” I said to comfort him. “Really, really, it’s ok. I’m happy to be right here, really I am. We don’t have to walk any further in order for me to be happy. I am happy to be right here, exactly here and no where else.”
These words were for him. At first. And then as I heard myself say these things I found myself opening to the possibility that they were true. And then with a jolt they were, and I felt a cracking open in the center of my chest where the need to be somewhere else had always been. Exploring that space I found only a sense of deep acceptance and peacefulness for where I was at that very moment.
What a tremendous gift, to know that sense for the first time. It was a moment of such joy.
I don’t know why it came then, and not during a thousand similar moments. Something to do with being satiated from all of that motion, and being ready to let go of my end of whatever had always been pulling at me. And certainly something to do with how much I loved him, how much I wanted to be where he was and not anywhere else.
What I do know is that having felt it once, I’ve been able to return to it again and again. Eyes open or closed, I can turn my attention to exactly where I am.
In this time.
In this place.
A moment of joy for simply being here.