“The cowboy” rolled up asking if we were okay and I replied yes. But I must have looked nervous.
“If you don’t like it, wait 5 minutes, and it will surely change”, he said.
Here I was, over 2000 miles from home, nowhere near an ashram, temple or church and a Wyoming Cowboy was giving me a meditation lesson.
And it was a good one. This man was someone used to following the rhythm of the wind, rain, and sun. His life depended on it. The lives of those in his care depended on it. Without much ado, he knew that within the subtle changes across the sky, the moments of life that flashed, galed, and poured torrentially, only needed a pause and the whole landscape changed.
In meditation and prayer practice, we sit to pay attention to the moment at hand, to train our minds and bodies to be aware. Meditation and prayer teaches us to pause, and with practice, very often that which may be angering or hurting our feelings can be put into its place. Namely an outer weather system that with a few minutes of space can change our feelings and put things into perspective. When we as individuals learn to manage our own weather systems, we can effect the larger whole.
There is much in the world right now calling us to react. Action we must take, but it must be from a place of balance. Otherwise action becomes reaction, and the very forces we wish to not take hold, that of hatred, shame and blame, flourish with even greater fervor and intensity. To be agents of change, to make this world a better place, we all must pause, for to go with the weather at hand may create a world of continuous storm.
The weather did indeed change for us, the black clouds became sheets of rain. Before we knew it, the little pellets I thought were swirls of dust was hail.
I knew we needed shelter, for the storm became unsafe in a tent. For those who have suffered trauma of late and those going through huge changes such as death, illness and/or family changes, pausing and being still is best done with a community, friends and guide to provide shelter from the storm.
Robbie and I sat in our shelter, the car, as the storm came in. We listened to a story of a demi-God fighting monsters in Tartarus, the hero was bargaining with his God. Robbie seemed oblivious, I was aware of the swirling nature of the weather, my thoughts of wanting to protect my son and the overall coolness of torrential rain. Did I leave, stay?
And then nothing. Everything was eerily still.
We continued to listen. The sun came out. Large drops on the windshield became mini rainbows of light.
Then the wind. Rocking the car, rain driven sideways across the windshield. I looked at our tent, well staked, parked next to a stand of trees by the river. The side blew in. I took a breath praying for the tent to hold.
In the book, the hero conquered the monster. I took another breath, the wind died down. We laughed. The sun came out and dried the rain.
I looked at the clock. 5 minutes. The cowboy was right. We went outside and celebrated.