As I sit on the train, I’m looking out of the window at the passing pastures beside me. Smells of aged cheese, sweet tomatoes and I believe white wine (secretly poured into a bottle of Perrier) fill the air from the passenger snacking next to me. With the distant hum of the locamotive ringing softly in my ears and the passing of a few hawks, flying in search of a meal, I find myself in a state of letting go. Like taking off a heavy turtle shell and leaving it behind. I find myself being filled with a new energy that before the flow was blocked by the comforts of the known.  All those feelings and fears of not having enough, of unclear direction and emotional dramas that fill our lives briskly whisp away like the rising and falling hum of the trains warning: “Here, I come.”

       We might have heard that life is a practice of letting go. But how often do we exercise this practice? Better question: How tightly do we hold on to the comforts and certainty of our lives? All letting go first begins with a loosening of this tight grip. So, how might we achieve this? Those of us who experience adversity in some kind of way, don’t have the luxory of the comforts we experience in the developed world. Thus, they don’t have much to hold onto besides the core of our human spirit: hope, love, perseverance, cooperation etc.

In a society where survival is rarely at the front of our minds, we’ve forgotten what adversity feels like. We get to experience adversity as a luxory as oppposed to a way of life forced upon us. But how many of us choose to venture out into the unknown?While I wouldn’t wish an adverse life upon anyone, in what ways is the human spirit being tested when it doesn’t need to face adversity? How does one truly feel alive when ones life is seemingly never at stake?

       It is for these reasons I venture west, in my favorite train, leaving behind the heavy shell of comfort to replace with the essential items I will need, not just to live, but to feel truly alive. 

So I leave my thoughts here with one left to ponder: In what other ways might we let go of our comforts and pick up a little adversity, to alight upon our spirit a life that it yearns for?

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