I was at my computer, working on something last night when my older son showed up out of nowhere. He had come home to surprise me! It was a really wonderful surprise! I was looking at him rummage through the refrigerator and the cabinets, looking for and finding food, and eating as though he had been starving for days! He may have been, I don't know! His friends in the Bay Area had driven all the way to Santa Cruz to pick him up and bring him home for the surprise! Later, as I stuck my head in the family room to check in on them, I saw ten young heads sitting all over the place, talking and laughing and listening to music. That was the music I wanted to hear.
My kids have been changing a lot, turning into young men who are showing a lot of characteristics which surprise me alright! All of a sudden, it seems, they have become very attentive and considerate, and that is really a wonderful surprise for me. They have always been very loving in their own ways, heck, I should know, I taught them about love, but there is a new quality, a whole new dimension to the way they love now. They have become expressive of their love, showing it to those around them in words and in actions. This morning, my early rising older son came into my bedroom to say hi as I was tidying up. As we were chatting away, he stepped down the hall and looked in his brother's bedroom, where he was sleeping. When he returned he said all of a sudden: "I love that guy, Mom, especially when he is sleeping like that and he isn't getting on my nerves." A simple announcement, and music to my ears.
Three weeks ago, I received news that I have been laid off from my job. I have been spending a lot of time looking for a new job and thinking how to handle my life and my finances during a most uncertain time in the US economy. Naturally I am sad and anxious, but even in the face of an unknown time ahead, for some reason I don't feel devastated. The night before I received the news, my cousin Mehri called me from Orange County. She told me she had had a dream about my mother. My mother had told her to look out for me (movaazeb e Nazy baash), and had asked her to tell me that she is praying for me, and not to worry. The next day, as I received the news, all I could think about was the message I had received the night before. All through my life, and even almost thirteen years after her death, I have never had a doubt that my mother loved me and has always looked over me. She and my father are the ones who taught me how to love, and I think I have learnt well, I'm almost sure. My solitude and my reflections these days have a peaceful air about them. It's as though all day long I am hearing a beautiful symphony, something that I hadn't heard for a long time because of the stress I had been feeling at work. These days I hear the music of peace.
When I'm faced with adversities, and I have had this particular pleasure many times in my life (!), as soon as the shock stage is over, I try to take stock of what I do have and what it is I am still capable of doing. When I think of the things I have, I can't help but be grateful and happy for holding on to the essence of life, to that which is precious and important, irreplacable and valuable. I am surrounded by loving family and friends, new and old, and extremely valuable bonds of love and understanding. Most of what makes me happy these days in my life has not been made possible with money, so they all get to stay! My life, through all the thousands of tiny and important pieces which comprise it, is a beautiful mosaic of joy and color and love. I'll get through this time, holding on to every single one of those precious pieces, for they were never bought, they were earned. And that knowledge, that reassurance, those floating notes of hope and love, these days make the music of my life.