Hubble-bubble is another name for hookah, one of those funky, elaborate long-necked water-pipe smoking devices in common use across the planet. Today, I’m more interested in my rapidly diminishing access to one of my own favorite haunts–the bathtub. Sigh. I’m getting separation anxiety already. So as a grey dawn breaks across western Massachusetts, revealing the fresh dump of what looks like a solid foot of fresh powdery snow across the local universe, I am filling my tub with the liquid spiritual essence of blissful soul communion. And then, the final day of pre-launch preparations will spread before me like a vast and swiftly cooling buffet of details, to-do list items and opportunities to let go of tasks unmet, calls unmade and pre-trip specifics still unplanned.
I guess there’s a ‘letting go’ process involved in any serious travel–we confront our need to simply accept that, having made our best stab at ‘doing it all’ before we leave, some things will remain uncompleted, for us to dig out of after our return. (For one, my 2007 taxes–yeesh. Well, it’s always good to have something pleasant to return to.)
As well, we must accept–or vainly thrash about in misplaced and futile resistance–how little control we have over the journey to come. India is, among so many other things, a relentless reminder of how little influence we sometimes have on our immediate surroundings. Having refined a cultural ethos of apparent non-linearity, it leaves us little choice but to engage with it on its own terms. Sure, I’ve got a plan, of sorts–certainly lots of work I need to accomplish on the goods-sourcing side–but if I don’t maintain flexibility in how the unwinding journey allows me to carry out that plan… well, let’s just say that a little openness to the cosmic unfolding goes a long way.
And, just to bring it full circle: what breeds flexibility and openness of attitude, mind and body than a nice toasty morning tub? Followed by a few surya namaskars, salutes to the sun, my last full day in the western hemisphere will be off on a delicious and nutritious beginning.