A close friend of mine recently confided that her husband has been cheating on her. This triggered a cauldron of emotions in me. I wanted to cry for her but it was more than just empathy. I felt my own loss welling up inside me. The anger and hurt of that betrayal is still there.
I was down in the cavernous clutches of this despair but despite that, I headed to a Kava ceremony I had been invited to attend. It’s a ritual of gratitude. I desperately needed it but in my current state of mind I didn’t know if I should attend. I was sure my eyes would be red and puffy from tears in the car.
I went anyway.
I entered the ceremony room at my friends’ house. Pillows and coconut cups were already positioned in a circle on a large lau hala mat. The room, filled with artifacts and indigenous art, has an immediate and reverent aura. The organic tentacles of its spirituality gently made their way into my brain.
As I sat cross legged and waited for everyone take positions my mind raced to find something to mention. After the opening prayer of the ceremony everyone takes their turn with their own intention or prayer
What would I say?
Immediately I thought of my friends/family in California. This Thanksgiving they will not be in the comfort of the home they’ve spent the last few years pouring love into. Fire ravaged their community in Paradise and left it uninhabitable. My thoughts came to rest on the fact that I’m grateful they are safe and not on the ever-growing list of missing or fatalities.
Gratitude has an amazing energy. It feeds itself. One thought leads to another and then another.
My prayer was short but I could feel the invisible hands of comfort cradle my aching heart as I listened to everyone else.
Loss is not just the end of something. It can be a freeing circumstance to achieve something new. I need to remember that.