Day 44

18700475_10211471482597216_1841704995321595083_o.jpgI never quite knew what it meant to be mindful before I met Alana. Sure,
I grew up surrounded by meditation, yoga and the theoretical concept of mindfulness, but one warm Berkeley afternoon, when I shared a Farmer’s Market peach with her, I followed her lead and for the first time I smelled the peach, I tasted the hint of citrus in the initial bite, I relished the sweetness of the juice, I marveled at the size of the pit and enjoyed the fuzziness of the skin. We shared that single peach between the two of us and not only was I completely satisfied, but I don’t think a peach ever tasted as good as that one did. And that is the way our meetings have always been; this exceptional soul arrives and every little thing becomes magic.
Defined entirely by our favorite word – serendipity, some of my most formative experiences were shared with Alana. We met, randomly, on the bus, freshmen at Berkeley, eager to talk about our experiences, overwhelmed and giddy at all our school could offer us. I’d get a random call in the morning to attend service at a local synagogue or to head off on a little hike or to listen to Wole Soyinka or to discover a new library on campus or to attend a women’s poetry slam because her friend, “the lady on the bus with the ‘weird and proud’ pin” would be there – so I would drop everything and head over. And my god what these experiences would be! We would discuss every little detail, share cross cultural comparisons, open our hearts and be vulnerable, form political ideologies and sing foreign songs until they became familiar.
Alana has taught me the value of savoring everything life has to offer and the importance of relentless kindness. I have woven our experiences and lessons with one another into the fiber of my self. Even as we’re off on our own adventures, touching base sporadically, she’s manifested in my home and my heart through art, Pablo Neruda and our letters. And on the occasions when we do meet, it still feels like magic.

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