My older sister asked me to come to Florida to take care of her duplex for the month of January this year. She was accepted into a program at the Hague in the Netherlands for a month-long course of study in international law. She is a retired attorney and 72 years old. She also started taking piano lessons after she retired and practices for 2 hours each day, to challenge herself and to play for her own pleasure. I travelled to Florida to be there a few days before she left, and stayed for another few days after she returned, so I got to hear her practice. She’s working on some of my favorites: Beethoven’s “Fur Elise” and “Moonlight Sonata.” I have seven siblings and she inspires all of us to continue learning, continue living fully, brightly, expressively, enjoyably.
I went to help her, to be there just in case the air conditioner went on the fritz again, or her tenants needed any assistance. I had no real idea that I would benefit. I’m a person who enjoys getting out to walk in any and all weather—I just need the right equipment for the job. (My absolute favorite time of year when I lived in south Florida was the summer. I passionately loved the afternoon downpours, when the sky opened up and rain came down in buckets. That was my favorite time to swim. I realize that’s not the usual reason people travel to Florida.)
I did benefit.
She lives just a block from the beach. I walked meditatively for a couple of hours every day. Gradually, the thoughts that had filled my heart and mind prior to this brief respite from my everyday life fell away. When you’ve been a powerfully dedicated worker, as I have been, work sort of sneaks back up and begins to fill the cavities of life once again. As I walked, an intention began to form in me, and it sounded like this: “I wonder what it would be like to have the freedom in my mind to think about what I’d enjoy doing.” Just having that thought made me realize that I crave more time spent in epic nature. I have since signed up for a week-long class with Jean Houston at Esalen, on the Big Sur coast of California. I will also be looking into teaching classes on Consciousness there.
Stay tuned. I’m excited.