We spent three days together: me, my wife Stella, our 2-year-old Cary, my ex-wife Patsy, her husband Glenn, his daughter Sarah, and her daughter Ava. We were packed into a small rental apartment for three days -- a recipe for family quarreling if I every saw one. Instead, we enjoyed three days of harmony, peace, laughter, and joy. Everyone was in service to the well-being of all, and no one felt like they were sacrificing their own needs to do so. Cary adores "Aunt Patsy," and Philip and Ava and I had a marathon sand castle session that lasted past dusk on the beach. Stella and Patsy -- the two women on this planet who know me best -- had long sisterly heart-to-heart conversations, and Glenn and I shared many meaningful words and beautiful silences together.
It has taken a journey for us to reach this place, and the future may hold new challenges. Nevertheless, those three days felt like a promise of the future, and not only for our family. To get here, we had to let go of all kinds of victim stories, hurts and resentment, reasons why one is right and another wrong. Having let them go, they seem like a fog, or a bad dream. So real at the time, so insubstantial now.
I won't pretend that we have "accomplished" this state through our own efforts or spiritual practice. Maybe these were a factor, but what feels more true to me is that we are being carried by a wave of change, a wave of transcendence, a wave of peacemaking. I believe that every effort toward peace that has happened on this planet -- even those that seemed to have failed -- has contributed to the psychic conditions that gave peace to our family. Deep thanks to you, peacemakers, for the gift you have given my loved ones. I'm sharing this story to add just a bit more water to the rising tide of healing.
Just before I took this photo, I was standing with Sarah on the beach. Patsy and Stella were inside with Cary. Glenn had already left to get back to work. I felt serene. A flash of something in the water caught my eye, and there was a dolphin come to visit us, just twenty meters away. I'd never seen one so close to the beach. A few minutes later, a rainbow came out -- you can see it in the photograph. I guess I'd better not mention the unicorn that pranced up the beach, or you'll dismiss this whole scene as a new age fantasy.
Just kidding about the unicorn. I won't ignore these omens though, these promises that pierce my skepticism. My skepticism says, "It won't last. Soon your loved ones will revert to the default state of resentment and conflict." The omens belie that skepticism. They say: We are resetting the default. The new norm is peace.