Inhale, exhale: sometimes that’s hard to do, because dodgy lungs run in my family; on both sides. So that this thing breathing, is something some of us struggle to do. Soon after my father died when I was seven, my own asthma arrived. So that I start waking around 2am in the morning, with a full blown asthma attack. And every night, my mother would sit there with me, soothing me with her voice and letting me know that no matter how long it took – and this I understood not from the words that she said, but from the feeling that I got from her body and the way that she sat there steady and soft – that she would be there for me, for as long as it took, until I could breathe again and fall asleep.
And in doing so, my mother gave to me that thing we all crave, whether we’re child or adult: presence. And yet I think we get confused sometimes and think oh maybe we’re not enough, so off we go and buy someone something, thinking yes it’s a present they want, not me, yes it’s the present they want, or maybe two or three.
Years later, when I was around 27 years old, to the question: what would you like for your birthday? I said I’d love for my mother and brother to accompany me on a Vipassana course, in 6 months in their UK centre in Wales. The lead in was so that they had time to prepare themselves and if need be pull out, or dive in. Thankfully, they chose the later.Read More