Graham woke up this morning saying, “Mom, is this the sneaky sneaky Friday with no school?”
It is. In fact, it’s a sneaky sneaky weekend. We were supposed to fly to Margarita Island last night with some friends for a birthday celebration but our passports are in an apparently irretrievable position in a government visa office and since we don’t yet have a cedulas (Ven. ID cards) the airline wouldn’t have let us travel. At first we were bummed about missing the weekend but then I realized a few things:
First, Graham wasn’t upset. “And Jesus said: ‘Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.'” In this case I choose to interpret kingdom of heaven as “being at peace with what happens.” My mood improved.
Then I remembered how similar that lesson is to the Buddhist practice of beginner’s mind, which reminded me of the Taoist story of an old farmer…
…who had worked his crops for many years. One day his horse ran away. Upon hearing the news, his neighbors came to visit. “Such bad luck,” they said sympathetically.
“Maybe,” the farmer replied. The next morning the horse returned, bringing with it three other wild horses. “How wonderful,” the neighbors exclaimed.
“Maybe,” replied the old man. The following day, his son tried to ride one of the untamed horses, was thrown, and broke his leg. The neighbors again came to offer their sympathy on his misfortune. “Maybe,” answered the farmer. The day after, military officials came to the village to draft young men into the army. Seeing that the son’s leg was broken, they passed him by. The neighbors congratulated the farmer on how well things had turned out. “Maybe,” said the farmer.
My mood improved further. Was missing the trip to Margarita Island bad fortune? Maybe.
Lastly, our friend Anne, who is also sticking around the neighborhood this weekend, sent us an email welcoming us to Playa la Cinta. Being open to teasing a situation with little jokes improved my mood to where I am now on this sneaky sneaky morning.
The mind of a child. A soft disposition. A heart open to the gifts of the universe. Hey, we live Venezuela!
Here’s a photo of the sewer river currently running down Playa la Cinta. Time to play!