i never know where, when and how i receive a sublime, joyous learning experience. case in point. we are invited to dinner with a couple whom i have never met. i get into the back of the car from the passenger side. i see the man who is driving and the brim of the hat of the woman sitting in front of me. all this happen in the midst of a heavy storm during busy traffic in the dark in portland, oregon. o, yes, and my mind is all worked up about walking one and a half blocks from the parking lot to the restaurant in beaded slippers. so it isn't until i settle into a comfortable chair, look across the table and catch the sight of the woman removing her hat and... what do i see? before i know it i hear words streaming out of me. your head has a beautiful shape. it turns out this lady has a lot more than a gorgeous, shining head. she was diagnosed with stage four cancer. four years later she is still here, radiant and beaming. what a luminous smile she has. in a lighthearted and low key tone she says, in a way and manner that is naturally woven into an animated dinner conversation, that every year and a half she has to go through a chemo regimen. it has six sessions of five hour each. meanwhile she is a gardener, an active member in a gardening club, goes to tuscany to visit gardens and keeps her life affairs in order. she is not in denial about where she is. she is not stuck in it either. she is bright, smart and curious. a total delight to be with.
as i type this i realize i have come into the presence of a great and wonder-filled person. her inner light shines forth beautifully and brightly. in her company it is so easy to be in the present moment.