Sometimes I feel like I open my eyes and realize that there truly is so much good in this world to fill our hearts and minds with. Just when I need it most, I am overwhelmingly taken over with this image of love and light working around me, reaching into those dark spaces that we all have.
It's the Sunday smiles. The thank yous. Orderly lines. Full bellies, clean plates. It's second servings. The laughter of kids. Those childhood games. The jokes and hugs and fellowship. The goodbyes and see you laters and the tangible feeling of love. The constant opportunity to let that light reach farther, to make it a point to try and understand the otherwise incomprehensible.
The light is the fact that there are whole countries in Africa, like Malawi, where there are one or maybe two plastic surgeons. Total. Whole countries with only a handful of people trying to relieve the burden of unrepaired clefts, and post-burn contractures and everything else that plastic surgeons in developing countries are responsible for that have nothing to do with elective cosmetic enhancement. It's the fact that right now one of those two plastic surgeons is living in Guwahati for four months to improve his skills and deepen his knowledge of cleft care so that he can stretch that light from India to his home. It's his peaceful demeanour. His quiet, humble sense of humor. His dedication. His desire. His compassionate passion to contribute to his country. It's his sacrifice. It's the fact that we are blessed to have a cleft care centre here that lends itself to spreading skills knowledge and awareness across the globe.
The light is in visits to the orphanage throughout the week. The big pink building on top of the hill that calls me in, calls me home. The excited greetings and never ending hugs. The games and reading and singing and playing. It's the opportunity to create then nurture healthy and wholesome relationships with beautiful children who deserve every drop of love and light available. It's the caretakers. The kirtan being sung next door. The free community health clinic. It's having a pile of children climbing all over you and the happiness that fills every void in that room.
It's in taking deep breaths and long yoga sessions in the morning or evening or both. It is in literally finding your balance. It's taking care of yourself so you can care for others. It's the desire to lower yourself down. It's reaching out and having someone reach back. It's being broken by humility. It's visualizing that light inside of you, glowing and burning and growing until it just emanates from your being. It's remembering that even when it felt like it wasn't, that light has always and will always be there. Someone will always be there to share their light with you.
(photo by Gary Lee, September 2012)