Tuesday, July 3, 2012

If The Rain Thailand Were Music

If the rain Thailand were music, it would sound like this.  As I listen and look out into the clouds sweeping over the mountains, I can taste the rain. Like ginger on my tongue, it is healing.

Rainy season in Chiang Mai can be temperamental. The week before we came, it was monsoon like and nearly prevented us from going out on the cottages on the water. Uncharacteristically, once I arrived, all the way up until the last person left from the retreat, there was scarcely a sprinkle.  

As I cycled in the rain yesterday, a shivery breeze came in quick, like someone blowing cold wind up my skirt followed by a yellow thread that struck the road just a few meters in front of me. It was the first time I experienced thunder and lightning on this trip. A vast contrast to the gentle rain dances that came unpredictably each day.

Jarred by the closeness of the strike, I cycled hard and fast back to my guest house. Arriving sweaty and breathless, a sense of relief and excitement filled me. 

I felt alive and human. Feeling my body respond in fight or flight mode is to begin to know how fragile life is. Here today and reborn another day. Each rain seems to fall into the subtle wounds of my body and purifies me. My heart is open to it's cleansing powers.

"All afternoon it rained, thensuch a power came down from the cloudson a yellow thread,as authoritative as God is supposed to be.When it hit the tree, her bodyopened forever." ~ Mary Oliver

Sunday, July 1, 2012

My half drunk latte sits beside my Mac attracting ants with the stray crystals of sugar sprinkled around the saucer. The texture of the air is stale, even with the oscillating fan above me. A waft of spices and grilling rises up from the kitchen to the second floor of Good Morning Chiang Mai Cafe where I sit dreaming of home.

Only home isn't Texas any longer. All my worldly belongings are divided and scattered across the globe. Some on a container that will arrive in South East Asia after a month long journey across the sea. Another quarter somewhere in a temperature controlled storage unit in Houston. A combination of large suitcases and duffle bags sit in the living room of a loved one in the Heights. And, the rest of my collection is with me, here in Chiang Mai, Thailand.

As I reflect on how this trip has affected me through journaling and planning the next installment of retreats, I am struck by my absolute exhaustion. 6 flights to arrive, 26 days thus far, countless moments of insight, joy, sadness, and even despair.

The warmth and rain in this city, make me feel as if I am moving through liquid air. My stomach feels the abuse of eating too many delicious fruits and stall foods, my heart feels the the tug of being away from loved ones, and my body feels tight and loose at the same time from alternating between yoga and giving and receiving massage.

Making time for stillness yesterday and today forced me to see around the corners of my mind that has been crowded with agendas. These plans constantly evolve as I seek to make my world as full as I can. "Americans," my friend said to me before she left this enchanted world, "do not know this kind of stillness. How can they? Nor do they know how tired they really are."

In a few days time, I will trade in this slow dance for a quick step into Houston traffic, blistering heat, children and more rounds of goodbyes. But the "me" that will arrive is not the same "me" that left in early June.  I am transformed by the Thai culture and people scattered along my path.

Most people do not see the world as magical. How can I bottle the enthralling, timeless energy of this place and the beauty of the people and carry it with me? A Chinese friend once said to me "good friend never part in mind".  The same is true of a place. Chiang Mai influenced me in ways that I could never plan even with the most elaborate of agendas and will remain a part of me.

"I long, as does every human being, to be at home wherever I find myself." ~ Maya Angelou

As much as I love Texas and Thailand, I feel home is no longer a place. It is found in the people I love. This is where my soul resides.