The day after tomorrow I head out again for my next acutherapy appointment in an attempt to tame my seasonal allergies. When I headed out the previous time, I ended up driving in the rain and cancelling my plans for a naturist, three-day retreat to follow the appointment as the weather was poor. This time I have practiced putting up a tent that I have borrowed from my daughter for the second attempt at a three-day retreat to follow the acutherapy appointment – and the forecast is for four days of cold, wet weather with no likelihood of sunshine. It is discouraging to say the least, after all, I have been looking forward to a naturist retreat since my return to Canada in mid-April.
For a few moments I began to think that the weather was deliberately sabotaging my plans. But just for a few moments. For those few moments I fell into childish, magical thinking, giving nature a sense of consciousness that was able to consciously create all sorts of weather patterns simply to dash my expectations after first hinting at good weather. I was looking for someone or something to blame.
Pema Chödrön talks about blame in her book, When Things Fall Apart:
“It is very common, ancient, well-perfected device for trying to feel better. Blame others. Blaming is a way to protect our hearts, to try to protect what is soft and open and tender in ourselves. Rather than own that pain, we scramble to find some comfortable ground.” [p. 81]
I read these words earlier today, before I knew about the weather forecast, while I was still having high hopes for the retreat. In truth, I was already planning how my days would be spent with books, the outdoors, and writing. With no Internet, I assumed that the retreat would be filled with sun and warmth and depth. Little did I realise that these words would so quickly be needed in order for me to leave the fantasy constructions of my mind and the descent into blaming in order to protect how vulnerable I had made myself with these fantasy constructions.
I re-read these words and found a way to come back to the moment, to now. Today. The present.
I just took time out in order to help prepare our evening meal, eat it and then sit together with my wife in the brief moments of sunshine when for a short time, it was warm. And then I returned here to finish what was started. I returned to the present and let it be without expectations.