We Are Guests Here
More than 30. That’s the latest count of how many beds I’ve slept in since the beginning of the year. More than thirty times I’ve said good night to the Moon from a different vantage point. More than thirty times I’ve thanked someone for their kindness, for hosting me.
Some of this journeying has been chosen, but much of it has been dictated to me by circumstances beyond my control. Yet I recognize that even while at the mercy of circumstance, I can exercise a fundamental choice:
I can choose to be a grateful guest,
to be grateful for the gifts given by a gracious host.
Gratefulness helps me keep it all in perspective: my life is entirely interdependent with the rest of life.
All my guesting of the past ten months has also gotten me to ponder something a bit quizzical… Like most people I know, I figured I needed to “earn” money to sustain my life. Yet absolutely none of the material things that literally sustain my life have I (or anyone) actually “earned.” I didn’t “earn” the Sun. None of us has! I didn’t “earn” the vegetables I eat, that the ground easily produces. I didn’t “earn” the trees that make up the various structures I inhabit. They were all gifts from a gracious host.
So how did it come to pass that I became disconnected from these gifts? How did it come to pass that others control the flow (the current/ currency) of my, or anyone’s, access to these gifts?
For this level of disconnect to take place, I have to buy into the concept of “ownership.” Someone now owns the resources that were once gifts. (For a really great exploration of this, read Charles Eisenstein’s Sacred Economics. Or to whet your appetite, check out this 12 minute video featuring Charles Eisenstein explaining the basics.)
Since I didn’t earn any of the life sustaining resources the Earth continually provides, this tells me I am a guest here on Earth. We are all guests here. That acknowledged, the only attitude that makes any sense is to be more of a grateful guest – thank this most gracious host for the miracle of each sunrise, for the wonder of black walnuts, for the life brought by clear mountain streams, for the beauty of the sparrow’s song…
The greatest gift I have received during these ten months of unintentional guesting has been the gift of connection. Before this year, I only knew conceptually that our physical survival depends on each other. I now know this in the viscera of my own body. Before, I could just move some numbers around to take care of my own survival, and be utterly disconnected from others. But as circumstances spun out of my control, as numbers became unavailable to me, I was restored to the long forgotten sanity of connection with the network of all living beings who sustain my existence.
And for this I give thanks!
Thank you to each of you, for all the ways you sustain me. Thank you for the connection we share. Thank you for receiving these little gifts from me, in the form of my musings. Thank you for hosting my gifts in your being, and thank you for letting me host yours in mine. May your own networks of connection be visceral, abundant, and bright.
Sunrise & dew with Pilot Mountain in the distance, Ararat, North Carolina, USA, ancestral lands of the Saura People, November 2022