Uncertainty: The lesson of fire

We all have expectations and things we believe to be are certain.  When we have a scheduled flight, we assume the airport will not be burnt to a crisp before we board the plane. But, like all things, impermanence is the only reality of our lives. The flight I was supposed to board never took off. The airport I was supposed to leave from was engulfed in smoke.

The lesson of fire is one of impermanence.

So what do we do now? We wait. We wait at home, we wait at a crowded airline office, we wait. There is nothing to do but wait.  No confirmation of a flight.  Grounded. And isn’t this life? The things we think are certain aren’t always certain? And yet, we always believe that things will not change, that we will come back unchanged.

Sleeping Warrior

A week ago, I was in Naivasha, facing  the Sleeping Warrior mountain. Surrounded by volcanic rock, leleshwa (African wild sage), and lavender, I found it  fascinating to see how something that spewed so much fire and ash created such an abundance of life.

When you light sage, it becomes smudge.  Through the process of destruction, there is also transformation- transmutation.  There is also an opportunity to transcend. To stay grounded on ever-shifting ground is a constant struggle.

 Nothing is built on stone; all is built on sand, but we must build as if the sand were stone. – Jorge Luis Borges

 And this is perhaps the unexplained beauty of delays- despite the inconvenience, uncertainty and anxiety of not getting home in time, there are memories that would’ve never existed had everything gone according to plan.  There are malas that would’ve never been given to us by our cousin, there are hugs we would’ve never received from our tiny nieces, there are stories we would’ve never heard from our aunt and uncle.

Give thanks for unknown blessings already on their way. ~Native American Saying.

And so, while I struggle to accept this state of uncertainty, it will continue to exist and permeate my life regardless of how I feel about it. And perhaps if I watch my mind a little more carefully and keep my expectations in check, I’ll learn to call uncertainty an old friend- one I can embrace.

*Hoping that everyone delayed, inconvenienced, damaged, hurt, and saddened by the JKIA fire will find peace, flight, reunification with their families and friends. May all those involved in the clean-up find strength and patience.*

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