Awaken to the mystery of being here and enter the quiet immensity of your own presence. — John O’Donohue
On a visit to Mexico City over this past weekend, the reality of seven billion souls struck me as I stared down a long boulevard with a never-ending crowd of people strolling one way or the other. Walking around in one of the world's largest cities (population about 20 million) and watching variations on the theme of human was fascinating.
There’s a Latin saying: Cada cabeza es un mundo. “Each head is a world.” Being in the presence of so many individual worlds, everyone experiencing this particular Saturday afternoon in a unique one-of-a-kind way, was both exhilarating and mind-boggling. Plus, the mystery kept appearing: the similarities and differences between one life and another, how you and I and our seven billion neighbors live, the likes and dislikes, choices and lack of choices, clashes and connections.
There's also the quiet immensity of my own presence writing this and the mystery of you reading this. The doctor turned taxi driver, because he’d borrowed a friend’s taxi to deliver five babies that day, so why shouldn’t he just drive us to the other side of town? The unseen artists behind an exhibition of folk art. The man in the Zócolo making small plastic skeletons dance and jump with a wave of his hand. The shy yet curious woman quietly laughing at our strange English banter. The metallic men painted head to toe, one silver and one gold, standing like statues on wooden boxes.
Tonight, I will fall asleep still amazed. Tomorrow, I'll awaken again to the mystery of being here, amongst seven billion others. Alive. Sometimes immensely present. Sometimes not. The gift of it all!
Nancy G. Shapiro is a coach and writer who conducts writing and well-being retreats at LifePath Center http://www.lifepathretreats.com and other locales.