I leave for India in four days. This trip has been in the planning now for about eight months. It is becoming a reality and I have to say I’m terrified. I am afraid of getting sick and being so far from home away from my husband. I’m worried that Martha and I won’t get along or that the trip is too arduous for me and I will look old and foolish. I’m scared to death of the heat, the dirt, the bacteria, and all those people! Billions of people constantly swirling around me. Normally I don’t do very well in crowds; how will I handle India?
I am also afraid of so much holiness, the prevalent and all-inclusive nature of spirit in every aspect of India and daily life. I’m not sure that I am capable of living such an existence. I’m not sure that any American with separation of church and state drilled into our heads from the moment we enter kindergarten is ready for the spiritually that is India.
What happens if I am deeply affected by it all? What if I change? Who will I be if I am no longer me? It really frightens me.
Then there is the practical and sentimental aspect of my fears. I am going to miss my husband. We are constant companions and the thought of being half a world away from him for a month hurts. I will miss him deeply. I know this and I know that I will be counting the days until I come home again no matter how wonderful this trip is And I will miss my daughter. Yes, she is my daughter, but she is far more than that, she is my friend. I trust her with all my secrets (not that I have too many, but I tell her everything.). We have such fun together. She is my angel. Then there is Izzy, my granddaughter; will she remember me when I return? I don’t ever want to see the shyness that she directs towards her other grandmother directed at me. We are buddies and I want it to stay that way always. Izzy is two and she is a wild and crazy woman. I love everything about her. I love how experiential she is, everything is new and exciting. She approaches everything with wild joy and abandon. I hope she never loses those qualities. She is perfect.
Those are my egoic fears and worries about this trip, but then there is the excitement of going. India! Exotic and unlike anything else on this planet. Deeply religious and spiritual. Spirit is steeped in every facet of life. Home of Gandhi and Mother Teresa. Land of monkeys and elephants. Sacred cows and piles of cow dung. The Ganges. The place where Buddha attained enlightenment. Gurus with huge egos and hopefully consciousnesses to match. Bollywood and Aruyeda. Poverty that is unfathomable and yet spirit runs through it all. This is what I want to see and be a part of even for the one short month that I am there. This is why I signed up to go on this voyage. To experience India.
How it will change me I cannot say, but I am sure that I will be changed by this coming month. As soon as I circle around to thoughts of how will I be changed all my fears kick in again and the whole cycle starts again. Therefore, I will be glad when all the thinking will end and the experience begins. India is truly almost mine.