Wow. I can’t believe I’m waking up to the start of the seventh week of my isolation from COVID-19. It’s Sunday, and I’m waking up to partly cloudy skies which is a great relief from the past several days of bleak, dark, and rainy weather. This alone makes me happy immediately. I turn on my Bose system and the Pandora station plays a song which makes me stop, and I truly listen. The guitar sounded so heavenly, and I found myself smiling back to the exact moment that the same artist’s music stopped me dead in my tracks to figure out where the music was coming from.
I was walking in the streets of Prague in the late afternoon. I was somewhere near the Charles Bridge, and it was right before the sun was beginning to set. I was happily lost and just wandering the streets to find a place for dinner, taking pictures in between, when I heard a magical guitar playing somewhere. I was hoping it was a live musician but found that it was coming from inside a store. It was a puppet shop and I walked in just to inquire about the music. I love all the vendors around the world when they ask, “Where are you from?” It starts such a great conversation about travel and the world. When I asked the guy about the music playing in the store, he yells for another guy to come out who spoke better English than he did. The second guy tells me that the music is by Armik, an artist I never heard of before. When I asked him more specific questions about the artist, he became a little flustered because he couldn’t express himself fully in English. So then he tells me to come back to the store the next day so he can make a copy of the CD for me. I smile so big as I asked him what time, and he said late afternoon at about the same time.
I come back next day and the guy who was supposed to make the CD for me looks a bit embarrassed. He tells me that he was too busy and that he didn’t have time. I completely understood, and he asked me to come back the next day again. However, I was flying back home. After hearing this the guy goes to the back of the store and comes out with two CD’s. He hands me the original CD’s, and the other guy standing there was aghast and even looked at his friend as if he was crazy. Then finally, the guy who handed me the CD’s just said with a smile to just enjoy the music as it was very special to him and very hard to get. Of course, I, too, just stood there flabbergasted. I tried to give him money but we both knew that it would have ruined the moment. An unexpected gift is both such a great treasure between the giver and the receiver, and besides, he didn’t want the money. I left the store, of course, with such gratitude, and I went to bed that night with a full heart, and I was so fully addicted to travel.
As I woke up this morning in Chicago a little bit anxious, wondering how I would fill up my day, I realized that it’s the moment by moment presence that helps me live fully. Just the sound of beautiful music took me on a past travel journey, and I think about all the kindness that exists in the world. So as I write down my to do list for the day one of my goals is to help someone meditate today. Then I decide right then that I will help someone, somehow, every day and make it a part of my to do list during the rest of my isolation and beyond. I feel so supported somehow all of a sudden with my decision to help others daily. The universe responds with like energy somehow. Just now, my former Italian instructor who is over 70 years old texts me and asks me if I need any essential supplies! 😭 Gratitude, oh, Gratitude…it looks like you are everywhere.