Sunday, April 01, 2007

The Universe Speaks

For those who may not know, my "day" job involves teaching CPR. Talk about opportunity to move out of my comfort zone. One day I'm teaching an over-50s motorcycle "gang" preparing for a cross-country ride, and the next I'm teaching a group of burka-covered ladies in an Islamic daycare. I've made an intention to become comfortable around all kinds of people (I believe this will be key to my success). Stepping into a room full burkas two days ago is a case in point. When I arrived I didn't know what to expect. The first person to greet me, was a young woman smartly dressed in a festive robe (not all black like most of the others). She was a pretty young thing, warm and friendly and giggly. She led me to her classroom to set up my things. As I entered the darkened room, and began to unpack my mannikins and supplies, I was suddenly startled by 3 women, dressed all in black, who were kneeling and praying on a rug in a corner of the room. I was there about 5 minutes before I noticed them, as they were getting up. I began to wonder if I could pull this off. I know hardly anything about Islam, most of it not good. I became acutely aware of what I was wearing, African robes. No, I didn't plan it that way, I always wear this stuff! (I like long flowy clothing.) Even so, I was showing a lot of skin next to the ladies covered head to toe. And then, there was my naked shaved head. Okay, not really shaved, but my sculpted Afro really stood out next to all the head coverings. I remembered calling on the universe to grant me opportunities for growth. This certainly fit the bill. But as I started the class and was my usual effervescent self, I noticed that these ladies were not terribly different from me and my friends. As we progressed through the four hour class, shoes and scarves came off, jokes and laughter abounded as the women took turns bandaging one another's broken arms and legs during first aid practice. Another observation, these women were every color of the rainbow, the diversity of their gathering unlike any I'd seen in any church. The bubbly young woman, aptly named Sunni, revealed that she was pregnant with her first baby. I really liked her, she was as sweet as pie, and so much like any other newlywed expecting a first baby. In the end, I relaxed and had a great time. The entire experience was rewarding and enriching. Thanks, universe. What next? I can hardly wait.

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