On a visit to Mexico City this past weekend the fact of seven billion humans (and counting) struck me as I stared down a long boulevard, some of the city’s twenty million plus inhabitants strolling one way or the other, seemingly never-ending. At the end of the day I found this quote by the poet and philosopher John O’Donahue: ”Awaken to the mystery of being here and enter the quiet immensity of your own presence.”
There is the quiet immensity of my own presence writing this. The mystery of you reading this. The memories: the doctor turned taxi driver because he’d borrowed a friend’s taxi to deliver five babies that day and why shouldn’t he just drive us to the other side of town? The unseen artists behind a spectacular exhibit of folk art.
There’s a Latin saying: Cada cabeza es un mundo. “Each head is a world.” Being in the presence of so many individual “worlds,” each of us experiencing this particular Saturday afternoon in our unique one-of-a-kind ways, was both exhilarating and mind-boggling.
I kept asking myself, “What would it be like to live in such a place?” Lively. Culturally stimulating. Beautiful. Smoggy. So crowded. An edgy mix of modern and ancient. A never-ending adventure. Noisy. Unnerving. A good place to improve my Spanish. Exhausting.
And the mystery kept appearing. The similarities and differences between one life and another. Where and how you and I and our seven billion neighbors live. The likes and dislikes, the choices and lack of choices, the clashes and connections, the individual and the connected entirety. Tomorrow, may we all awaken to the immensity of the mystery of being here, amongst seven billion others.