So, I grew up in 15 minutes on a local bus in Kathmandu.
It was 1998 and we were headed for the border. After a month in the Himalaya and a decent bout of giardia, our heads and bellies were cleared of any excess we owned. With a BMI in single digits, we had enough body odour and local language to let anyone know we’d been in the road a while. Meaning we couldn’t be easily fooled. But I got confused on this bus. A group of too many locals offering me too many directions. I was pushed from person to person. Left to right. Forwards to backwards – spun around to see this and spun around to see that.
When I finally pushed them off me, trying to lift my head to breathe, I knew.
My passport was gone. They’d taken it off my belly. And all the too many people were gone with it.
This was a time when a string of W’s was an acronym for world federation wrestling rather than the intricacies of the world wide web. I spoke to my parents once a month on a reverse charge phone call to let them know I was alive and they currently had no idea where I was. My backpack weighed more than my person – and the world in which I lived was in it.
My lover and I were of no fixed address, owned nothing but a game of Yahtzee and shared a streetwise invincibility beyond which I have never regained the grace to know.
My passport was my trophy. It let me move as I wished. Like a badge, it proved who I was. Bragged of were I had been. Promised of where I was going.
It was the only thing that reminded me I was real – and it was lost. I suddenly felt so very alone. And so very, very frightened.
My lover saw me crumble. Saw my face turn grey and cold. He wrapped his broad arms around me to surround me in his scent. And he hugged me. He hugged me hard. It made my back crack as he lifted my chest above my head. It lasted until he knew he picked up my heart.
And reached down into my soul.
He hugged me for less than a minute. Although it shifted more than a lifetime. In his broad strength I opened. I began to lift up tall. He held me standing centred on my dirty Birkenstocked feet. To remind me that I wasn’t lost. That I wasn’t alone.
That with him, I would never be lost or alone again.
Think heart openers, backbending inversions and kapalabhati.
Sometimes we can feel like the world is caving in. It can be hard to see the rainbows for the rain. Our direction as to where we’ve been or where we’re going can get lost. Can even feel stollen. Making us feel stranded. Frightened. Alone.
By reaching out and stretching forwards we energetically express, “I am here.” And being here allows us to be ready.
Ready for the moment. Ready for the field of life to have it’s way. Ready for the next step, the next round, the next breath.
My lover hugged me like this again this week. The way he did before he chased the too many people in the back streets of Kathmandu. This week as he did 17 years ago, he tried to find what had been stollen. In this older, wiser hug – I stood up again. I grew up again. And a waited.
I waited for the memories of where we had been. For the plans of where we were going. For our next game of Yhatzee.
And with this I remembered to be here. I remembered to be ready. I hugged him back.
I hugged him back hard.
And I made his back crack.