One of the many take-aways from this trip to India was one of community and people coming together to make things work. This was one thing ever-present in India, where most people I saw had next to nothing but appeared rich with appreciation of what they did have.
Coming back to America, where we have so much yet all too often long for what we don’t have, has been interesting. I found myself using the excuse of exhaustion to complain about volunteer commitments which were piled up in the first few days after my return. These commitments, which I put off until my return, are truly things which I am blessed to be a part of. They are just a few ways that I am a part of the many communities in my circles be it my son’s school, church, his football league. They are luxuries we enjoy.
Falling into each assigned task (working the prize booth at the school carnival or the snack shack at the football game) helped me to reintegrate into these communities. Whether I was helping a youngster redeem his prize tickets for a splat pig or a whoopee cushion, or count out gummy worms for another, I was participating in one of the necessary jobs that make the cogs of these communities turn, extravagant as they are in comparison to India. And they are extravagant.
On my last day off before returning to work, I found myself at the side of a fallen yogini. The instructor of the hot yoga class I was about to take had crashed in a near miss on her moped. She was shaken yet grasping for the positive in the situation. “It could have been worse,” she kept saying. I choose to stay at her side, to be there in case she needed someone. And though none of the little things that I did for her were much of anything, I believe that simply being present was enough to help her find her footing again.
When it was all said and done, I went out for a run — the first since my return home. I bid good tidings, “hello’s” and what-not, to everyone I passed. Much to my surprise, every one of my greetings was returned with a cheerful word or two. With this, I finally felt like I had made it back from India and into my own little world. I looked around to see the beautiful place that I call home with even more gratitude than before.
And then, after picking YaYa up from school, I went home and slept the rest of the day away hoping to be rested up and open to whatever presents itself on my return to work.