The other day after meeting a friend for tea at The Center, I was walking home on Fillmore Street and I realized that I hadn’t done my daily ritual of connecting to the sun, something I had learned from a Shugendo monk in Japan. He taught me this ritual after asking, “Do you feel connected to the universe?”
I said, “Some days YES, everything feels so magical and other days feel kind of mundane, like I’m just going about life.”
The monk nodded his head and then instructed me to do a simple sun connection practice every day. I’ve stuck with it for a year and so far it works. I’m happy to share it with you later (and wrote about it in my forthcoming book), but anyways — I stopped on the sunny corner of Fillmore Street and Golden Gate Avenue to do my practice. I was going through the motions, bringing the sun energy to my heart and then sending protection out to the four directions and when I opened my eyes a man was looking at me inquisitively.
“Ya praying?” He asked. This is lower Fillmore. I might have been afraid to be seen praying on the street corner, especially as a Jewish woman given everything that that implies. But I trusted I was safe and stayed open instead of ignoring him or rushing away.
“It’s okay,” he said, “I pray every day, too.” He introduces himself, his name is Kikki.
“What’s your sign?” he asks me.
“I’m a Libra.”
“Stop it! I’m a Libra. I just had a birthday!” Haha, no kidding man. It’s the end of October. We realized that he’s on the Libra/Virgo cusp (September 23) and I’m on the Libra/Scorpio cusp (October 22).
We kept walking up Fillmore Street together. He asked if it would be okay if he opened his beer in a paper bag. I said sure. He said he’s just off work and applying for another job at UPS. And that his 17 year-old daughter always wants manicures and new clothes and how it’s so expensive to have a daughter! But she’s graduating in a few months and he’ll do anything for her.
He asked what I do. I said that I’m a writer. He said that he’s a writer and a poet too, but he’s afraid to share his work with anyone.
I said, “You’ve got to put your stuff out there. You never know what might happen once you do, but for sure nothing will happen if you never share your work.”
He smiled and then said goodbye as he went off to catch a bus. I continued on my walk home, feeling connected to the mystery.