A Tale of Two Camels
A personal reflection on camels, synchronicity and preparing for life.
These two little camels have been with us at Christmas for over 17 years...one day in the winter of 2003, my 'husband to be' Andrew and I were out and about doing our own thing in different parts of London town. We later met back in Balham where we lived at the time and unbeknownst to either of us, we both proceeded to gleefully unveil a gift for one another.......a bejeweled red camel to decorate our home.....i.e his and her camels.
This was a poignant moment, and has always had meaning for us, and I share it now as a tale of Christmas past and what I have learnt from it over the years.
Many of us within the last year have had it tough and most of us will be concerned for those who are in difficult circumstances and it can be hard to see the wood for the trees when there is so much that is uncertain. There are constant adaptions needed as restrictions change and personal and work circumstances may be insecure and challenging. We do not know what tomorrow will bring...we may feel overwhelmed, stressed, anxious, given up, helpless or even angry, trying to make sense of what is happening in our personal lives, our communities and our world.
We can sometimes get caught in reacting to everything as it happens and these two Christmas camels remind me of something important...that there is more to life...there was magic in that exchange of gifts...we had no idea that we were both in different locations on the same day buying each other a red shiny camel at the same time....
I know it can be seen as 'just a coincidence...Christmas decoration shopping spree of a couple at the beginning their life together'...but what are the chances?
For me it was a moment to appreciate how connected we are...and I don't just mean me and my 'husband to be' which was of course beautiful, but I mean all of us...much more than we often realise. Just as the phone may ring when you are thinking about someone close to you and you pick up and voila there they are...in that sense we are never really alone..even if we cannot be with other people in person and it can hurt to feel isolated...we are having relationships all of the time even when we are not physically with them. Practically however this is also a time, more than ever, to reach out and find a way to connect with people, tell people we care; be it through email, phone or online.
I see life as rich in symbolism, the camels....what do they symbolise? Well when I have seen camels walk I see a settling, flowing movement that is in it for the long journey...so no wasting energy, with the capacity and wisdom to have reserves within to be self sustaining as is required. A steadiness and endurance and (from what Andrew has told me because he has met a few on his journeys) a sense of humour.
Many of us in honesty do not know what the future will bring, particularly when we get caught up in the trials and complications of the present moment...but what we can do is prepare ourselves for that future however it may come. Getting lost in the turmoil and tumultuous changes in present day life can mean we do not look ahead for the long journey...we do not see across the horizon as the camel trains do, as they gently move across the sand.
Can we move in every day life one step at a time at our own steady pace and rhythm, preparing for whatever the future brings? Can we make self-care our top priority? Can we be adaptive, observant and respond to life rather than reacting to everything that comes our way? Can we support our health and well being now to enrich ourselves and have our own reserves for the days and years that will come?
There is always a new choice in every moment...however small those choices appear to be. These choices can be embraced and nurtured, and so be empowering, self sustaining and bring an appreciation for life in all it shapes, flavours and phases.
We do not know what next week will bring, but we can do everything in our power to commit to taking care of ourselves right now, so when it arrives we are prepared.
During this Christmas period and into 2021, take amazing care of yourself and know that this is a moment....like the many millions of moments we have already experienced and the quality of how we live in this moment can support us now and support us in the next moment and therefore for whatever the future holds and every moment presents an opportunity to live and learn and grow in our understanding of ourselves, each other and life itself.
Keep healthy & take wonderful care.
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