To truly understand kindness and how it surrounds our lives, it is important to embark on a voyage. Sometimes even unknowingly, we find ourselves at a threshold of life where we need to choose one path from many. It is when we traverse across the thresholds that constitutes new beginnings and endings that the kindness and the generous heart of the cosmos that surrounds us becomes apparent. In our lives, thresholds mostly define the jump, the stepping into the unknown from the known and while that takes courage and probably a certain amount of naïve belief, it is because of kindness that we come across on the other side stronger, confident, alert, aware. To take on the journey of a new beginning already means that we have summoned that center within us to embolden us, we have spoken to the very depths to bless us with grace as we take the leap of faith into the unknown. For no matter how much we prepare, our path will always be a mysterious and unchartered territory. Where we go, no one has ever gone before. But the most loving matter is, is that no matter where we go, once we take the step, and maybe even before we knew of it, existence conspired and promised to hold us in kind arms, so we may take this journey as we were meant to.
Not all paths are joyous and happy. Many are full of pain and disillusionment. There may not be the endings we wished for, there may even be dejection and sorrow. Yet, there is that force that propels us, that warmth that surrounds us, that is always our companion. Kindness rests in the smile of a stranger, the smell of a rose as the hand glides over the petals, maybe the sight of old and wrinkled skin of the aged, the first swallows that return in spring, the hands of children when they clap them together, the voice of a loved one across the phone. In moments of hesitation or decisions that need time to expand, this is the kindness that the cosmos extends to us to carry us safely across. There cannot be any bigger sign of the love that surrounds us and our hearts than the eternal kindness that is a part of us too. In moments of acute vulnerability, when we are ready to begin but don’t quite know how, stop for a while and lean back against the anxiety beating within the heart. Stop to notice that deep center of uncertainty of the unknown, the unwillingness to give up the familiar, the fear of leaving behind, of letting go. The time is then ripe to watch the kindness unfold all around. See that man leaning over his garden fence, smiling and waving a good day as you walk by. Notice how the little blue tit that has built its nest now feeds the blind fledglings. The small girl next door learns to ride a cycle, a bit wobbly but with so much of determination. The big tree that was struck down by lightening now sprouting fresh greens from its side. The perfect folds of the petals of flowers. Everywhere grace unfolds in splendid ways and kindness embraces us to whisper songs of encouragement. We can walk this terrain, we can go new ways, we can begin to dream of other beginnings. We are held in the cosmic heart.
It is a journey home, and fearful as we may be to take that decision or that first step, the way back home is always supported from a deep place within us. We are all, in a way, journeying back home. Only the paths we take differ. We all are on our own pilgrimages to discover something about ourselves, about our true nature. Some paths are more difficult than others. But there will always be kindness to carry us with its soft generosity that eases that uncertainty of new beginnings.
Back home in the house that we have never left – Meister Eckhart