Full of Light


I love this photo of my cousin and Honey, probably because I love these two men so much.

I love this photo of my cousin and Honey, probably because I love these two men so much.

Honey, my grandpa, had a fall about a week ago. He does some exercises and some walking every day and it was during one of his walks that he lost his balance. Initially, he had some pretty bad bruising, swelling, and a few scrapes so he’s been laying low.

One day last week, I packed a lunch basket so we could eat together at his apartment. We had a wonderful visit. When I asked how he was, he said he was fine, and he said it with such sincerity and brightness that I didn’t have any difficulty believing him despite the bandages. I like these visits when I have Honey all to myself. He asks about my family and my work and wants to know how I’m doing. I seem to come up with a question about his life that I had never thought to ask before. And we find some things to laugh about. Before we are through, our conversations always come around to Grandma Mary and during this visit, when we were having our ice cream with chocolate sauce, Honey brought her to us by saying, “Grandma and I liked to have ice cream after almost every meal.” This was my opening to remember her with him, to ask about her favorite flavors and to say how much I miss her. I love thinking about what they looked like when I sat across from them at their kitchen table when I was a child. He misses her so much. Spending time talking about her and remembering her together feels really important.

After we talked and cried a little about Grandma Mary, I asked again how he was feeling, and commented that his swelling had much improved from earlier in the week. He said, “Well, I feel fine, but I hurt all over.” And he meant it. Both parts. Because part of him really is fine, untouched by his soreness and his injuries, and then there’s this other aspect, the physical parts, that need to heal. It’s so interesting how clear he is that how he is doing isn’t inextricably tied to how his body feels. This idea is in the Yoga sūtras, too. One of the root causes of suffering is asmitā or misidentification (YS II.3 and II.6). When I confuse my body, my sickness, my job, my role in the family, or any material aspect of my life, with who I really am, it causes suffering. Honey gets it. He lives it. And it’s really wonderful to be around.

The yoga sūtras teach that when we connect and identify with this special place, it’s said to be full of light (YS I.36). Even though I’ve had an intellectual grasp of this concept is something amazing to see in someone. It’s how Honey lives. He is full of light and I’m so grateful for his example. To see this in him and in how he lives is so meaningful. He brings this teaching to life and his special way of understanding himself (most everything, really) makes him such a pleasure to be around. I aspire to be able to say, “I’m just fine” no matter what else is going on in my life because I can stay connected to this light within me and remember who I really am.

8 thoughts on “Full of Light

  1. Marianna

    I really love reading your blog. I am in a YTT program right now and studying the Sutra’s fro the first time. The way you bring them into real life experiences is so beautiful. Thank you for sharing your life and your thoughts, I glean much gold from this.
    many blessings!

  2. a

    thanks for sharing more stories about Honey. i love to hear them, i am sorry he had a fall- ;(-
    your posts always make me feel warm inside!, thx for teaching us , we all need to learn from him..

  3. Carol Rawson

    What an awesome tribute to a wonderful person. I know your Honey because he and Mary were best friends with my parents. They were there when I was born in Phoenix in 1945. I didn’t get to see much of them after we moved, but we have always stayed in touch. Please give him a big hug from me next time you see him and I will send him a card today. You are so right – he gets it!! Namaste, Carol

  4. Lynne Olson

    Amanda, I read your lovely thoughts about Jack- I knew him as a child- maybe 55 years ago- he and Mary were dear friends of my parents. My sister Carol sent this link to me to read. I can STILL remember the love and light Jack and Mary brought into the room every time they entered. They were an exceptional couple… and I can see Jack is carrying on that tradition even with his loss. I think the last time I saw both of them was in the 1980’s in Miami when they visited my parents! Please give him a hug from me- and carry on your good work sharing his love through your love… Lynne


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