I think non-attachment gets badly misinterpreted and misused in this world of self-improvement and spirituality. It sort of makes me cross, I may even be attached to the feelings I have about what people make of non-attachment!
For me, the thought of not-caring for people and things, staying distant and not getting involved that is sometimes interpreted as ‘non-attachment’ is totally abhorrent.I’m all about diving deeply – into experiences, into landscapes, into relationships and into projects and creations.
As often happens, Bik had his pied-piper effect which works on animals and children alike – without doing anything at all, it seems, he is soon surrounded by little ones – human or otherwise.A group of children started chasing the bubbles down the beach and then coming back to get more of the bubble-hunting game.
Bik happily obliged, unlike so many adults he doesn’t get bored of a game after a few attempts but can keep playing for hours if left to his own devices.After the bubble-juice ran out, I got my sharpies out and started writing little love notes on pebbles, to leave along the path later for strangers to find.
A little girl who has worn out from the bubble game grabbed a sharpie and joined in.
For about 20 minutes, we sat, mostly in companionable silence, writing messages on pebbles in the sunshine.
For children, these encounters are quite normal – any other child is a potential instant friend, for however long the adults let you hang out, with no expectation of anything other than the moment of connection.
Now, adult relationships are different of course, and some go deeper and longer than others – I’m not for one second suggesting we all start treating each other like casual acquaintances, all of the time!
But there should be room, surely, for those moments of connection without expectation of future. That’s what non-attachment means to me – a simple realisation, without struggling over it, that all things must change and end.
After all, we are all just visiting here for a short while before we dissolve back into the universe. We belong to each other without owning each other, we love each other without really knowing each other, we connect without any foreknowledge of how long the connection will last.
In this fragile life, perhaps every relationship we ever have is, really, just a short moment on the beach, in the sun, writing lovenotes to the future.
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