It has nearly been one year since the passing away of one of the great loves of my life. About six months ago, when I had a dream of a beautiful mountain viewed from the perspective of a cloud, I realized upon waking how much grief I carried with me every day. She was strong as a mountain to me, and she effortlessly supported me with simple, present love every day of her life. When my life seemed to my perspective to have turned upside-down, she behaved as though everything was right-side up. When I couldn’t find a way to love myself well, much less anyone else, she gave me love without condition. When I felt unsafe and fearful, her kind fearlessness was a reassuring presence. When I lost my home, she was all the home I needed to feel that I belonged somewhere.
The way this magnificent being loved was so simple and steady. She did not ask me to be a better human being than I could manage to be at any given moment. She taught me by example to be better than I had been being; I often found a better way of being by just watching her being a radiant being. We humans often believe we are at the top of a hierarchy of sentient beings. I must respectfully disagree. When I think of her, I am reminded of this beautiful poem by Hafiz, who defined this kind of love in the most poignant metaphor: “Even after all this time, the sun never says to the earth, ‘You owe me.’ Look what happens with a love like that. It lights the Whole Sky.”