“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 in noticing her, the spirit she emits is nothing but magical. So much so that on this hot summer day, one in which my family has taking refuge on the Santa Monica beach, I can not help but to notice the presence of Anahita in staking sand claim only a few yards from us.
In no way is she shrouded by any large presence, quite the opposite, it is more of the self-comfort that Anahita seems to carry that grabs our attention. And via its attraction, my 365 subconscious, grips my awareness towards her from afar. But, still my thinking gets 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 tells me.
Plus, I’m so comfortable under the shade of my umbrella, and with the ocean breeze cooling my skin, I fall to my intellect in ignoring a deeper inspiration to reach out to my, at this point, unknown friend of Pacific coast shared.
Many believe we are drawn together by forces unseen. And, perhaps today, we are sitting in this particular stretch of beach to meet Anahita. I can’t say for sure, but one thing is certain, my meeting her is by no means a result of any facilitating action taken by me.
Here I am, sinking further into my folding chair, when to the left of us Anahita approaches, “Can you watch my things for me while I go for a swim?” she asks.
We agree to watch her belongings, and with smiles, challenge her to swim to the 200-yard marker. Again, any mention of 365 escapes me as I suppress it to the bottom of my vocal chords.
She departs for her swim, and in watching her grow smaller and smaller, distancing herself from us in every swim stroke, I commit myself to extend an explanation of 365 upon her return.
Anahita is a crazy strong swimmer; it’s only minutes before she returns to our camp. I ask 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 turns 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 shares.
That’s it? Just listen… No great fan fare of council, and why the tremendous draw to her? Yet, in stepping back to fully absorb her words, Anahita has given us a powerful admonition, one that rings louder and brighter than any long sermon.
Anahita is 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 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 ownable concept, that being, “World peace starts in the hearts of all of us.”
It is us who have the freedom to choose our outlook towards one another, and we have to start somewhere. 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 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 remarkable,” I often say, and you know what… I believe it. I’ve seen too much, have met too many people and have come too far to turn away from the claim.
And today, I know I am in the right place, at the right time, in meeting Anahita. 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 today. Your example has been heart-felt. Keep swimming and keep sharing my new friend.