While riding a bus through a remote island in the Aegean see, I drifted away on my own island of thoughts. The seas of a language I did not know were lapping up on the coastline of my awareness like gentle waves on a faraway shore. Subdued by the white noise of several Greek conversations, the hiss of the buss’s air breaks instantly snapped me back to the present.
Then, a mother with a quiet and content baby boarded the bus. He was wearing a beige knit cap with a cartoon face sewn just above his forehead and two fluffy balls (surely meant to be ears) flopped around on top. His father soon boarded the bus and the small family sat three rows ahead and across the aisle from me. Mom sat by the window and handed the baby to dad. The cartoon face on the knit cap and the human face with wide soft eyes were both looking over dads shoulder at me.
The bus surged ahead and his curious brown eyes darted left and right while watching the island landscape fly by. While observing his eyes, I began to wonder about the two marvelous contraptions we all have on either side of our nose. Complete miracles! For the first time in 40 years I was in awe with eyes: moving, adjusting to light, focusing, and conveying all that is in the world around us in every waking moment… all without conscious effort. Wow!
While lost in thought again, I suddenly realized that the two beautiful brown eyes I had been watching were now fixed on mine. We sat for a moment… staring. I smiled, he smiled and we kept looking. We were there swimming in the sea together engaged in deep connection, neither looking away. There was something special happening, I could see it in his face and feel it in my heart. After much more than a minute of effortless gazing, he let out a gleeful coo and reached his tiny hand out towards me smiling excitedly. His dad turned around and saw his son reaching out, he smiled too.
So much was in that moment: connection with a tiny human and a shared energy that is always there. I wondered: If he were 20, 30 or 60 years older, would I have let the stare linger? There probably would have been thinking about the motive, meaning, or intention of the stare. Quite presumably I would have felt apprehensive and looked away. He might have too.
Why was this different? In my mind, he is a baby with pure innocence, simplicity, and thoughtlessness. I assumed nothing because there was nothing to assume. I can only speculate that in his mind there was only connection as well. He has not yet been conditioned to think any different. The connection happened naturally in a thoughtless sea of love.
I wondered and saw (again!) that connection is always this close. I can feel love for anyone and it has nothing to do with them or the situation. The more my thinking drifts away, the closer, more connected, and more love I feel. When adrift in a sea of thoughtlessness the ocean of everything is always there… the ocean of pure connection and love.
Looking back at the experience with the baby I see that nothing was in the way and nothing else was needed. I smiled when I realized that he and I were the only ones on the bus that couldn’t understand a word being said around us. Although, we all were born speaking the universal language of connection and love.
It’s so simple a baby can do it… and every human on earth was once a baby…
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