It is 1:45 and we have been queued since noon with still another hour ahead. We are waiting for the opportunity to vote early. There are hundreds of us, all waiting to vote. When we got here we thought the line wasn’t too long to get into the building, so we waited an hour and a half. But when we got into the building we learned we had another hour and half. Once in, the line wound around the halls of the building. So we were committed, or at least I was.
We are getting there. People are on their phones. One woman is knitting. Some are reading. People are meeting and talking with each other. All are sharing, the one purpose of voting early. None of us will meet again, yet we are here today. The goal and the circumstance have contributed to a bond.
Presently we are in a long hallway with people on both sides. We are sharing a rather close space. We are all so different and yet each of us is here to vote. And each of us has a voice and is here to contribute that voice. We are able to participate in a collective voice that is able to move the country in which we live. No one voice is more important than another; together we have a great impact.
We are on a pilgrimage, we hundreds of people. And there are milestones we must pass through. The first milestone was to get inside the building out of the cold. Then we faced the disappointment of yet a longer wait. We had to then decide, do we leave or face the challenge ahead? Once that decision was made, we quickly, or rather not so quickly, headed toward an unexpected long narrow hallway. We were encouraged by people not to lose hope. And so the next milestone arrived after moving down the hallway; we were able to turn the corner and return back down the hallway toward the entrance. On this other side of the hallway the next milestone was a light in the distance before we turned and reached the final approach to the voting room. During that last stretch of hallway most of us were tired, our backs ached and we wondered if this was worth it. Just like any pilgrimage we had all the trials and tribulations.
Finally the end is in sight. And we have reached our destination. As we wait to go into the voting room we see people just coming into the building and they have all the feelings we had an hour and a half ago. We want to assure them, we feel sorry for them, we sympathize, and yet we are not going to discourage them from going through this journey.
Once in the room it only takes a few minutes. I had already prepared my answers and knew which way I was voting. The whole process took three hours. So was it worth it? Absolutely. Every day we go on a pilgrimage. Sometimes it’s rough, sometimes it’s easy and in the end hopefully we reach our goal. Today we did. And why was this so important to me? So many of us see the right to vote as no big deal, but as humans we are directing what lies ahead and contributing to the directing of what lies ahead.
Everything we do is and can be spiritual practice. Yesterday while going to vote I practiced internally. Today in the midst of a hurricane I practice. Tonight as we celebrate Baba’s Mahasamadhi I will practice. At all times, in all places and in all actions we should turn to God. Go into the Heart and love your life, your pilgrimage.