I come out of my yoga class. There is an old lady standing in front of her house across the street from the studio. It is an old house looking onto more old houses, a noisy street and a few other people that happen to pass by. As far as I can tell it isn't a pretty sight. Yet she is standing, holding the rail on the side of her brief stairs leading up to her door. It's too hot outside, but she doesn't seem to notice, she is lost in her thoughts, whatever they may be. She is just looking out, not expecting anything to happen anytime soon. Like a tree that takes the wind, the rain, the sun and just stands, she is just standing there, looking as comfortable as a lazy cat...
I wonder if this is her routine, she just comes out of her house at this moment every day just to see what is happening outside of her little world. Maybe she was home all day, she cooked, she cleaned, watched Oprah. Maybe she just came from work. Maybe she just finished up some kind of a work inside and needed a moment. Maybe life has been hard and she just wanted a breather. Whatever it is I like to imagine that this (stepping out for a moment) is her little comfort. Something that she comes back to whenever she needs to.
Then I think about what little comforts, daily joys, small pieces of solitude and calm we all have. Drinking tea is one for me. I like smelling the tea before I sip, seeing the transparent smoke rising from the top, then feeling the warmth of the mug in between my hands. Then slowly taking in the aroma, enjoying the initial taste and noticing what comes as an aftertaste and imagining that it walks throughout my body, cleansing and rejuvenating every cell as it passes through. Bringing new life and light and the history of that flower into my system.
Or take the lady in my neighborhood who likes sunbathing in swimsuit in front of her house. There is a community pool nearby but she prefers this isolated feeling close-to her home, just where the sun finds and hits her front doorsteps. She usually has a book in her hand while she gets comfy on her portable chaise. I've never seen her with a drink but I like to imagine that she just had a cold drink or will get one real soon. She is in her own mini-vacation, not caring about the few people (like the postman) that may come by occasionally.
Or the guy I see sitting outside Starbucks listening to his music with earphones on. It's a busy street but he seems not to stare at people, it is more like his eyes are directed in front of him but they're actually looking inside, lost in his music, maybe day-dreaming, maybe resolving whatever issues he has. I notice other common threads with the old lady and the lady from my neighborhood: he is outside, he is alone, he is with himself more than anything else.
Shortly after I notice him, I get to my own little comfort zone. Starbucks starts playing one of my absolute favorite Leonard Cohen songs: famous blue raincoat. It's funny how a song transforms you, takes you to that place where all you listen to is yourself. I close my eyes and imagine getting drowned in the notes and the words. They're so sad and yet so beautiful. Something warm moves to my heart and I am whole. I get this feeling after my yoga classes too. At the end of the class, I am warm, comfortable and whole.
So when you get a chance, think about that time and place that gets you, that makes you whole. You feel safe to close your eyes and say 'aaaah, there you are my comfort! I needed you all day!' and you finally feel at home and at peace. Give yourself permission to get there today, without judgement, without guilt. Permission to find whatever makes you feel warm inside and lets you take a breather from your busy-ness. You don't have to be alone, maybe it's a silent but heart-felt hug that gets you there. When you are in this moment that you find comfort in, know that you are not alone. You are just one of us who got to this place alone, but still part of all of us who like getting to a place where we feel whole.