The emptiness is not constant. I wonder how to stay with it and yet move past it. This morning my coffee is tepid as i consider what i can do. We will be going to the local Science Center with friends later this morning. At my parent’s home there are always things that remind me of my past. As I write this i see a photo peeking out from behind some plastic boxes. It is a group photo taken during Raghu’s naming ceremony. In an instant I am transported into a house and time when my days were full of activity. After a few minutes when my thoughts are back in the moment, the emptiness returns.

Veena made a tasty vegetarian lasagna last night when we visited her. Earlier we had planned to go to a local park. The evening shower dissuaded us. We walked down her street after the rains stopped. Giant trees hung over my head as i walked. Raghu and Zoya were quibbling over who’s turn it was to ride our old rickety scooter. I held Raghu’s hand. He has a tendency to drift off into thoughts even as he is crossing a road. The erratic driving patterns and helter-skelter driving style here requires a certain inbuilt ability to navigate. I am reminded of the old Seinfeld episode where George is crossing a road with a giant pac-man machine.

The street we wandered into was quiet, tree lined, had bungalows packed together and lovely wind hewn sticks all over the road. Veena and i played with the children. Bits of Mulan action, my niece is immersed in Mulan, bits of Skyrim fighting with Raghu, and a lovely inventive basketball game with Zoya. The wind was calling and there was the hope of Mary Poppins landing soon.

I find immersion and moment to moment existence a funny thing. A long time ago when i was just discovering homeschooling i read a book by David H. Albert, a homeschooling father, writer, storyteller etc., that i found at the West Orange Public Library. From his book i learnt about Mihaly “Chick-sent-me-high” (its spelt differently but David gave this pronunciation) and his book on Flow. Ever since it has stayed with me that when we are happily immersed in something we are in “flow”.

I took Zoya down to the pool for a swim. It was a windy, coolish day. The city was catching a small break in the monsoon. Zoya wore her orange and yellow striped swimsuit. She slowly went down the rails and into the 4 feet deep side that now felt higher because of the wind whipping up the water surface. She seemed cold but was determined to swim. I watched her body flow thru the water, skimming the bottom of the pool, and was reminded of Albert’s book. Flow Hema, Flow. Watching my children swim is hugely restful for me. It is splendid to see their bodies gliding, swishing and turning like fish. Both of them learnt to swim by watching others. They did not want any instruction. And that too was “flow”. They immersed in their love for water and learnt what they wanted from the experience,

Whenever i feel tension rising, usually its a pressure inside my chest, I have made it a habit to release whatever it is i am wishing for. For e.g I was worried about Zoya swimming on that cold day even as we had all just been exposed to family members with ear infections and other nefarious germs. As i felt that fear for her rise, i wished for her health. What is a wish you may ask. Is it like from the Enid Blyton books where little kids went to bed wishing for a miraculous release from some mundane enforced activity like school? No. Its more like i look within and find the root fear and then turn it around. In this case i wished for her health. Releasing the wish helped me get back to my present moment, i was watching Zoya swim. She came out fairly quickly and said it was not cold but she was done. She ran off to change and join her brother on the swings.

This morning as i write this i feel the emptiness giving way to a more joyful space, one where possibilities abound. I had released a wish last night “may each moment be full of possibility and presence”. I know my thoughts are my reality and i am able to enjoy my now. My children will awaken in a few minutes. I hear them stirring. And i feel full of possibility, presence and open to making pancakes.