Picture the scene. A farmhouse in North Kerry, Ireland, November, 2016. It’s windy and cold outside. The farmer of the house is milking the cows. Inside, in the main living area of the house, there are three young boys running everywhere while a mother shouts commands. The children in response jump off the couches, scream at lost blankies, pout at the injustice of it all.
They arrange the meditation cushions, fighting all the time about who gets what colour. The mother, determined, pulls the cushions into a circle. There is a crashing noise in the background. A black cat appears from the kitchen looking coy. She’s undeterred. She asks the children to get down on their cushions. They’re going to meditate.
“May we safe from inner and out harm” And by that she means that the eldest takes his foot off his brother.
“May we be happy and peaceful” hoping that her emphasis on peaceful really resonates in their inner sanctum or that they just stop talking long enough for her to get to the end of the sentance.
“May we be healthy and strong” repeating her lifelong wish that they get to adulthood without her losing her mind.
As she sits in the lotus, eyes closed, in this scene of chaos of sprawling limbs and giddiness, she smiles. Maybe just a little.
“What about the om’s Mom” the second boy giggles. Oh God, she thinks, not the oms.
And then echoing throughout the farmhouse, on a rainy morning in Kerry just before schooltime, three boys and their mother hold some ‘Ooooooooooooooooooooooooooooms’ for longer than is descent and louder than is possible.
Sometimes, after this ‘practice’, they arise from the cushions having got the crazy out, othertimes, they pull her up willing her to go on. Mostly, the poor woman gets up shaking her head walking towards the coffee machine, dejected. Why does she do it?
She hopes that they remember that in the craziness, that there was for a few moments, at least, a smiling mom in the middle of it all. That they can always find peace in the middle of all the chaos. Repeat.