Anxiety is an invitation-killer, a saboteur of opportunities, a tourniquet round giving and receiving. When you're in the groove of life, you're not worried at all about invitations or being recognized (quite literally in my case) or what your 'sacral is telling you' or might tell you. When you're balanced and your energies in harmony, you do what needs to be done, and then, maybe, the invitations and opportunities appear. The unexpected invites, the ones that come from strangers, are delicious.
I had a stranger-invite this past summer, with my sons, when we visited Antibes, France. Antibes is a market town on the Cote d'Azur. There are medieval ramparts around its old town that you have to cross through, over, and under to get to the harbor and beaches. Every afternoon, we walked through the crowds in its open-air Provencal market, past the stores, the stone walls, and under the viaduct to the beach. For the first few days, my mind kept raining on this parade; it wouldn't shut up with its worries. It is true that the boys and I had to be out of our accommodation a day earlier than we wished. There was now one night we had nowhere yet to stay. There were a few places we could go, but I was non-committal which my mind did not like one little bit.
Onwards, we walked to the beach each day, afternoons of eating up the sunlight, swimming in the water and climbing on rocks. Then one afternoon, as we neared the arch into the beach, a woman I had never seen before came up to me. She told me that she'd seen me the last several days and that I reminded her of herself when she used to take her children down to this very beach. We started talking like long-lost friends. She was staying all alone in a six-bedroom house on Rue de Bas Castellet, incidentally a short walk from where we were staying. Her adult children weren't due to arrive from America for another week. She openly told me how lonely she was. Would we like to stay with her for awhile?
My boys and I stayed with her the one night we had nowhere to go; the day it thundered and poured for hours over Cap d'Antibes, the evening I saw the clouds break and the sky turn pink over the homes where Picasso painted and Kazantzakis wrote. My not-self mind would love to latch onto this place, fix my geometry to it. My not-self would also love to tell you that I became BFF with this American woman, that there was some grandiose purpose in our meeting, or at the very least we've stayed in touch. But no. There's no neat ending, only an experience of two souls crossing.