Tao Writer (April 17, 1948 -)
It’s morning and I am sitting on my veranda having a cup of strong Ceylon tea and listening to the roar of the ocean as the tide comes in. My swim trunks are on and I am just waiting for me to finish those last swallows, so I can go for a morning dip in the warm seawater. The road in front of my home is quiet with no school buses today. It’s Sunday. My peaceful meditation is broken only by the occasional “thump” of a coconut falling to the ground. A pair of mongoose play in the yard. One caught a frog which they share. I have a thought to get my camera but I make no move in that direction.
I sit back, breathe deeply, and relax into my chair. Then I realizing this is the image of myself I envisioned when I saw a photograph of this home a bit less than three months ago. Now I am here, sitting on the veranda in exactly the same place. I am actually living a dream. I feel as if I won life’s lottery. The tears roll down my face in total gratitude of this life. Even now I as I write this I am having trouble seeing my keys and suppressing the sniffles from my nose. My gratitude and appreciation is so deep. My being so filled with joy. I don’t know what I did in my life to deserve this reward, other than take a chance and “follow my bliss.”
My beautiful friends, Lara and Marcus, thought they were preparing this home to rent to travelers coming here to vacation in Fiji. They had no idea they were preparing it for me until we met. I committed to being here sight unseen in a country I knew nothing about all based upon the the flash of an image in a photograph. Now I know this place will be my home for a long time. I will be here until I receive another calling. Everything I have ever wanted, desired, and even longed for is right here. I came here thinking I would find anonymity but that quickly changed. Here people know me and they like me. Not me for me, but me because I am seen as a fellow human being. They welcome me into their cars, trucks, homes, and hearts.
“Com’on com’on,” a woman calls to me from the back of a pick up truck as I waited at the bus stop for a lift into town. I quickly climbed into the back of the truck and took a seat on the bench. “Bula,” my companions all shouted as I sat back against a makeshift frame of iron tie rod covered with a blue vinyl tarp and our feet resting on sacks of fresh taro root. I came here alone and now I am surrounded by family. I brought very little with me and now, I have everything I need.
How does one express gratitude? It is the only virtue I believe is not overrated. How does one give thanks to the world for infinite dreams when one comes true? Rumi says, “There are a thousand way to kneel and kiss the ground.”
I am down on my knees. For the depth of my gratitude, I will never get up. For the love of a life fulfilled my lips will never part from the ground.