Last night, I dreamt of two lions climbing a manmade staircase to pursue me. I hid in a closet. I held the doors shut with all my strength, but the lions sniffed at the door, knowing I was in there.
They stayed, I held, and I awoke before they could pounce.
This morning, Contemporary Bollywood Radio plays in my office. I am reminded of my time in India. When I think back, I think of arriving and of leaving.
When we arrived in the middle of a steamy night, we went straight to the hotel, where our luggage had to go through x-ray machines before it could enter with us. We checked in and tried to sleep but we had been traveling for almost two days and so our bodies did not know if it was day or night. And, being in India for the first time, I was too excited to sleep.
Eventually, I sank into slumber for a few short hours. When the alarm rang to rouse us for breakfast and a return to the airport for the last leg of the journey, I was somewhere between asleep and awake.
My roommate Katherine did yoga on the hotel room floor. Mantra music played softly. The bathroom had glass walls and so we got used to having no boundaries for the next two weeks.
And then I think of the journey home.
When I left Rishikesh, I alone climbed the stairs to the plane. Men and boys lined up at the far fence at the end of the runway, just watching. Behind them, the lilting foothills of the Himalayas beckoned. Tears rimmed my eyes. I didn’t want to leave.
That plane took me to Delhi, where I had 10 hours between flights, and so I checked into the airport hotel. I ate my dinner overlooking the runways. I booked a massage. I slept briefly in a very comfortable bed.
The going and the coming is the art of transition, and for me it’s the most precious time. The anticipation of where we are headed and the knowledge of where we’ve been are treasures.
Although really we should be immersed in the now, in being present, there is something about this act of journeying that is heavy with meaning.
Life could be that exciting on an everyday basis if we didn’t get so caught up in the running. If we didn’t have to-dos and musts and long lists of routine and activity and wishes.
No place is more perfect than another. It’s who you are in each place that makes it wonderful.
When I travel, I rediscover my soul. I have time to listen to the silence, to immerse in the open air, and I love it.
It’s funny that I was hiding from the lions in a closet, for lions represent feminine power, the female sun.
“When a lion has shown up, there will be opportunity to awaken to a new sun,” reads Animal-Speak. “Trust your feminine energies – creativity, intuition and imagination. These will add new sunshine to your life. Don’t be afraid to roar if you feel threatened or intruded upon.”
Well, I’ll be. I am woman, hear me roar, right?