by: Sara Teasdale
A diamond of a morning
Waked me an hour too soon;
Dawn had taken in the stars
And left the faint white moon.
O white moon, you are lonely,
It is the same with me,
But we have the world to roam over,
Only the lonely are free.
I wandered around Düsseldorf this afternoon in the rain, from the Hauptbahnhof(main train station) to Altstadt(old town). I was constantly surrounded by people. People speaking German, French, English and Dutch. People of all different ages, colors, shapes and sizes. I was just another face in the crowd, huddled underneath an umbrella and searching, quite aimlessly, for a warm cafe with wifi to inhabit for the remainder of the day.
As I walked on the cobblestone streets trying to avoid puddles while attempting not to roll my ankle in my boots, I had this sense of loneliness again. I was thinking, oh vey, I am in a foreign country, by myself for the day, in the rain, surrounded by strangers and these streets are definitely not on a Chicago grid system. Simultaneously, I was being reenergized and renewed. What is it about being lost that gives the spirit as sense of rootedness? What is it about being alone that reinforces love and faith? What is it about being lonely that sets one free?
I think about the early mornings when I take the dog out and I see the moon high on the horizon. It always gives me a sense of rootedness, love and loneliness. It isn’t a sad sense of emptiness or loss that often accompanies the feeling of being lonely. Rather, it is filled with a sense of energy, tenderness and wonder. When I look at the moon, I remember that I am something more than myself. Something more than my body, my mind. The moon reminds me that there is a higher vibration. It makes me feel small and immensely full of possibilities at the same time. My heart swells. My spirit soars. With its clear white light, the moon looks like it is part of the landscape of stars in the night sky, but at dawn it is clear that it is in an entirely different part of space. The moon forges its own path on its 28 day orbit around the earth. It is actually nowhere near the stars. It is alone.
I sit in a hipster coffee shop tucked into a tall narrow building on an even narrower brick alley. The baristas spoke broken English, but still managed to help me get on wifi and order a warm kaffe (coffee). Electronic, jazz music plays from the speakers. The decor is reclaimed wood and chic. I am huddled in a corner slowly sipping my frothy beverage. The patrons are all speaking in German and enjoying their midday espresso. In my red pants, pixie hair and thick scarf, I look like I am part of the landscape of young adults, but if anyone tries to speak to me it is clear I am not from here. I am American. Although I try, I do not speak German. I am alone.
But I am free. I am grateful that I have had opportunities like this to explore new places. To try new things. My grateful practice has reinforced the fact that I am so blessed to have been born where I was, who I was and with those around me. I am so lucky that I landed in this body with this mind with this spirit, I could gush about it everyday. Whatever that higher vibration is, I bow to it.
I opened my emails this afternoon and came across this poem by Sara Teasdale in my inbox. I read it once, twice, a dozen times. It gave me chills. It resonated deeply. It made me reflect. It inspired me. It made me ask questions. An answer came in the form of another poem by Mary Oliver:
Whoever you are, no matter how lonely,
the world offers itself to your imagination,
calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting —
over and over announcing your place
in the family of things.
It was one of those moments where I felt like I was meant to read Teasdale’s poem, in exactly this moment and in exactly this place. Sometimes it takes someone else’s words to describe exactly how I feel. Feeling lonely. Feeling loved. Feeling wonder. Feeling free.
Peace, love and Namaste,