I am staying, temporarily, in a senior living facility in Woodinville. I really like it here and it is wonderful to only have to navigate one room instead of a multi-story house. (I’m in a studio apartment now.)
More than twenty people live in my wing of the facility. Most I have never seen. But there is one couple that I have passed in the hall so many times. I see them when I’m going to pick up my to-go dinner and they are coming back from their dinner in the dining room. (Both options, and more, are available to everyone.) We often come out of our rooms and enter the hallway at the same time. Now, we laugh whenever that happens.
It reminds me of being in Amritapuri. There are many people there I never see. And there are others that it feels like are around every corner I turn. Those people often become major parts of my trip.
I wonder what the frequent meetings mean in this case, in addition to giving us something to laugh about.
This morning when I went to the bathroom a mosquito caught my eye. It was in the toilet. I felt a dilemma. I didn’t want to sit down and have it sting me. but I wanted to use the toilet! I decided to flush the toilet and see if it would leave. It did. But did it come right back? I would have to take my chances.
Soon thereafter, there was a mosquito on the window screen of the main part of the studio. Was it the same one or a new one? To be determined. Maybe. This is a new experience but is one I will laugh about.
Probably the person that has caused me to laugh the most is a staff member named Pat. He is quite a jokester and to me is committed to seeing beauty and joy all around, and adding to it whenever possible.
Whether it is by wearing mismatched or playful socks or forwarding a file to my daughter and adding a note saying that I am behaving myself, he brings light into the world. And he always waves and calls me by name when I walk by his office.
My earliest memories of him happened on my first days here. The first thing I remember him saying is that at one time he had been a priest for 15 years. That certainly peaked my interest.
He came to see how I was doing for the first three days. The first time he asked me where I got my spiritual guidance and I gestured to a picture of Amma. “The hugger!” he exclaimed. (Amma is known for having given 39 million hugs. So far.) I was amazed that he even recognized her picture because it was a really old one. During that visit, a mother duck followed by seven ducklings walked by my window.
Since then when people visit me, if he knows that they are coming to see me, he asks them if they are huggers. If they look at him like he’s crazy then he asks if they’re devotees. Most are. This process has brought much needed laughter into my life.
I think there was one other thing I was going to write about but I don’t remember what it was. The mosquito incident drove everything else from my mind. I guess there will be a part three to this series at some point!