All of my life I have been a gypsy at heart. I traveled where I pleased when I pleased because of all the things in my life; to come and go as I pleased was the most important thing to me.
Five years ago, circumstances conspired to strip all of my freedom away from me and I ended up being the only one in my family taking care of my elderly parents, dad being 91 and mom being 86.
Mom was in a nursing home close to where dad lived with me....and between taking care of them and working on my writing career, I didn't have the freedom to travel when I wanted to but I found freedom where I was, by taking care of my parents and choosing to live in the moment and enjoy it to the fullest..
Today, I took mom and dad to the airport where they are flying out with my niece to their new home 3,000 miles away from me where they will be taken care of and looked after with love by six of my family members who decided it was the right thing to do...
I didn't convince any family member they should do this, because once again, circumstances conspired in a loving way to make this change possible in my life. I will miss mom and dad but I have five wonderful years of memories of them in spite of the hardships of taking care of them....and the hardships were not so hard once I learned "to be free where I was" and experience the joy of taking care of my parents who gave me life and contributed a great deal to the person I am today.
Be Free Where You Are
By Thich Nht Hanh
You can read excerpts of this book by clicking here
Midwest Book Review (Oregon, WI USA) - Be Free Where You Are is a transcription of a talk by Buddhist monk Thich Nhat Hanh given at the Maryland Correctional Institution at Hagerstown. Hanh reveals how the Buddhist approach to "mindfulness practice" can cultivate freedom no matter what the outer circumstances might be. This wonderful 71-page collection of observations, advice, and answers to questions is a welcome and highly recommended addition to Buddhist Studies reading lists and reference collections.
If you are searching for freedom in an unfree world, this book is a must read.