“Instead of giving any advice to the world, I’d reverse it and tell them to listen. There is a lot to be learned just by being quiet,”
“The moment I saw her, I could tell that she had a peace about her,” says my wife in looking over my shoulder as I write about today’s stranger, now friend, Anahita.
Her name alone is closely associated by many mythologies with fertility, healing and wisdom, and as I noticed her, the spirit she emitted was nothing but magical. So much so that on a hot summer day, one in which my family had taking refuge on the Santa Monica beach, I could not help but to notice the presence of Anahita as she claimed her beach spot only a few yards from us.
In no way was she shrouded by any large presence, quite the opposite, it was more of a self-comfort that Anahita seems to carry that grabbed our attention. And via its attraction, my 365 subconscious, gripped my awareness towards her. But, still my thinking got the best of me in not wanting to bother her with a 365 invitation. “Leave her alone, this is her private retreat time… you can meet someone later,” it told me.
Plus, I was so comfortable under the shade of our umbrella, and with the ocean breeze cooling my skin, I fell to my intellectual self in ignoring a deeper inspiration to reach out to my, at that point, unknown friend of a Pacific coast shared.
Many believe we are drawn together by forces unseen. And, perhaps that day, I was sitting on a particular stretch of beach to meet Anahita. I can’t say for sure, but one thing is certain, my meeting her was by no means a result of any facilitating action taken by me.
There I was, sinking further into my beach chair, when to the left of us Anahita approached, “Can you watch my things for me while I go for a swim?” she asked.
We agreed to watch her belongings, and with smiles, challenged her to swim to the 200-yard marker. Again, any mention of 365 escaped me as I suppressed it to the bottom of my heart.
She departed for her swim, and in watching her grew smaller and smaller, distancing herself from us in every swim stroke, I committed myself to extend an explanation of 365 upon her return.
Anahita was a crazy strong swimmer; it was only minutes before she returned to our camp. I asked her to join us.
Quietly kind are the only words that come to mind in defining the personality of Anahita, and in interviewing her, she turned my question back on us.
“Instead of giving any advice to the world, I’d reverse it and tell them to listen. There is a lot to be learned just by being quiet,” she shared.
That was it? Just listen. No great fan fare of council. Why then did I feel such a tremendous draw to her? Yet, in a review to fully absorb her words, Anahita had given us a powerful admonition, one that rang louder and brighter than any long sermon.
Anahita was a collaborator, “I hope like this little project, that we are all becoming closer. It’s like watching the Olympics. How we are all seeking the same goal. We are all the same people, just different habitats. I hope we just keep heading towards peace.”
We have had so many conversations regarding the global desire for peace. Dialogues that always fall back in calling us to accountability of how we navigate our individual lives and personal interactions. And with it we have defined an practical concept, that being, “Peace starts in our own individual hearts.”
It is each one of us who have the freedom to choose our outlook towards one another, and we each have the challenge to find our own personal starting point. Peace does not come from the works of big power and large overly funded initiatives. It starts in the decisions of every silent voice, and the more of us who independently select bridge-building lifestyles are the ones on the front lines of a new type of warfare; a battle of self-control and a charge to a reformation of mind, action and social view.
The power of one is truly remarkable, I often say, and you know what. I fully believe it. I’ve seen too much, have met too many people and have come too far to turn away from the claim.
And in meeting Ahahita, I was reminded that what we are together doing with Operation-365 is happening at the right time and for the right reasons. For more than an athletic swimmer of great ability is she. Anahita is a subtle peacemaker of the greatest kind. As evidenced by her parting words, “Treat everybody with love and compassion.”
Anahita, my family appreciates your reaching out to us that day. Your example was heart-felt. Keep swimming and keep sharing my new friend.