Well...it has been a while, hasn't it.
I have meant to find myself back here many times in the last couple of weeks--ever since returning from my adventures down south--but catching up on the rest of life has been the greater priority, and has been a far larger task than I anticipated.
It is so very nice to be home. So so very nice. There's nothing like going on an amazing trip and having incredible experiences that shift your perspective and offer the potential for growth, but then the return to your regular life also, somehow (even in its predictability) yet offers the same, and the growth continues. A month away provided absolutely everything I could have asked for in terms of healing and experience, but the gratitude I feel for everything I am able to do in my life right now is so huge, so wonderful.
I suppose there's nothing like sleeping in moldy hostel beds to really show you how good you've got it.
But then it's so much bigger than that. Bigger than eating your own food and having personal space and being able to make plans on when and where you want to go someplace, and then just hop in your car and make it happen. This feeling of gratitude is bigger than all these things and every other part of life here that I love, and expands so much that it truly morphs into something different than gratitude entirely. I'm still processing what to call it and how it all works in my head, but the only word I can come up with to describe this feeling is peace.
That's what I feel right now, in every part of life. Peace. Big peace. Contentedness and peace with everything that I do and am and am offered, with my contributions to the world and my place within it. Perhaps gratitude acts as the small stones that built this beautiful space I am existing within right now, but this is an amount of peace I have never known before.
Perhaps peace has always historically been the absence of strife or challenge for me: I have only known 'peace' because I could recognize that there was no stress present. My stress and my peace have been those dual sides of a coin, me flipping back and forth between polar states as dictated by the circumstances.
But this peace? This is not that kind of peace. This is a peace that appears (and, as a disclaimer, it's very new to me still so I have yet to fully understand what it is that's going on..) to not have another side to it. It is not a peace that is existing in anticipation of it's opposite, or that has to struggle to keep itself right side up. It is not a peace that is swayed by circumstance (again, nothing massively horrifying has happened yet though, so we shall see how this peace holds up in chaos eventually I'm sure..), but is solid beyond all events and processes.
I had some incredible, life-changing experiences while in Peru and Bolivia, and amongst them--and I will explore a few said events on here in the coming weeks I'm sure--this gift of peace was stumbled upon. Maybe it was the combination of extreme emotional stress and high mountain low-oxygen air that did it, but somewhere within those steps there was some magic found.
I will do anything to continue to practice this peace, and anything to encourage the experience of this peace in all others.