I don’t know exactly how old I was the first time I visited New York, maybe three or four years old. It was also the first time I’d ever had to step onto an escalator. My parents each had their arms full (I had at least one baby sister then) and my older sister was capable on her own. As they all stepped onto the escalator, I tried to follow but the step seemed to disappear from beneath my foot before I could manage to get the other foot off the floor. I crouched down closer to the floor but this didn’t help, my knee just shot straight out with each passing stair and I watched as my family descended one step further away.
I think I might have called out to my father, I remember him looking back at me and his eyes grew a bit bigger when he saw I wasn’t right there with them. As people passed, one older woman, with sandy-gold curls, and a big kind face with colourful makeup, took my hand and said, “Hello little boy, would you like some help?” I nodded a yes, and just like that, I was on my way down the escalators to re-join my family at the bottom.
Sometimes, life reminds me of this moment. I’m sitting still but life’s current swirls around and whether I like it or not I’ve got to step back into it. I don’t always find the wisdom to guide me or the strength to step back in but each time I look up and there’s a Bodhisattva extending a helping hand.
May we all find the wisdom together of balancing when to sit and when to act…