Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Wednesday Wish (40)


It doesn’t have the sultry lushness of my tropical garden. Its not my Mexican sea. There is no deep, mysterious forest. Or wide and cloud-puffed sky. I don’t hear birds. I don’t breathe in my favorite hot and humid air. My body does not tremble, my spirit does not soar, but my soul…it knows its niche, it still finds its peace. There is magic here. Magic here, indeed.

The floors are cold cement and polished to a shiny gleam. The air is thin and dry. The space is filled, but in the gaps, ideas burn with vacancy. I look around, my eyes wandering, waiting, excited for my first clue. Organic bananas? Sushi in a plastic box? Or strawberries, plump and tempting in a fancy cart? Yes, I say. Let the magic find me…let the soul-food begin.

Every time I visit my new neighborhood grocery store, I am struck by the serendipitous lovely of it all. Last week I met Fiona in the natural health aisle. We spoke of Ireland, her home, a country she left over 30 years ago and how every day, she longs for the easy lovin’, the gentle spirits, the camaraderie of a good old fashioned Irish Pub—the open arms of her kin. And then there was Per, the seventy-year-old Swede who saw his granddaughter in the eyes of my daughter. His own eyes betraying his pain, his soul sharing more in a few minutes than most would ever imagine possible… in the soup aisle, between a couple of strangers.

Each visit to my new neighborhood grocery store presents a new message to me.  But only…only…if I am aware-awake. And only…only…if I remember I am a piece that matters to the whole. I am only one, but one sun, one moon, one child, one teacher, one event, one love—matters. And without the one’s, there is no whole.

So today, I met Amy. She stood, leaning on her cart, whispering to her little boy. She was thoughtful but airy, serious but floating, and her spirit, it tingled mine. Maybe that’s why we spoke. But just a little. Until we met again in another aisle. This time near the frozen lasagna.

            “He’s beautiful,” I said of her son.
            “So is she,” she said, nodding toward my daughter.
            “Have you tried this lasagna? Its my favorite. And maybe your boy will like it as much as my girl….”

We spoke of high school in the land of rain, of seeing the world, and the jobs that fueled our dreams. We found we had both recently returned to the area where we grew up, that child rearing was much more than we imagined, and that life had thrown us a fair share of unexpected detours but that we wore them like ribbons, taped to our invisible lapels, emblazoned into our hearts. And when we were done, we vowed to connect again.
            “No pressure to connect,” I said, as I turned to leave, “but my arms are open wide,” I said with a smile.
            “Mine are, too,” she said with a smile of her own, “mine are, too.”


*          *          *

It was almost dying that made me realize that the key to my survival
depended more on strengthening my connections to all of life 
than on strengthening my individual will.  
–Mark Nepo

The modern capitalist world reminds us every day how independence, competition, a strong will and a determined spirit are qualities to be honored and revered. We are unknowingly guided toward self-preservation and personal life agendas. So when depression strikes or when illness arrives, what do many of us do? We distance ourselves, we grow a thicker skin, we strengthen, as Mark Nepo says, our individual will and tackle life, often times, alone.

But what if instead, we dared to connect? What if we dared to be vulnerable, to shed our thick skins in favor of a rawness that invited other hearts to do the same? What if we finally admitted to ourselves and to one another that we need, yes need, one another? To listen to, to hold, to care about and to connect with, to be our friends on this one wild ride we call life. What then? Would we heal our wounded hearts? Would we find less reason to be sad? Yes…I think we would. 

16 comments:

  1. Your reach and open arms travel much further than you realise Brynne

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    1. You mean to New Zealand, my dear? Ohhh, how I hope you feel my love, sweet Jo.:)

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    2. it was as if you saw what I needed when I needed it so yes Brynne...I do feel it

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    3. I am soo happy to hear that, dear Jo. Soo happy.

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  2. You blew the doors right off the house with this essay... thoughtful, provocative, heart-string tugging to the Nth degree... Sent with open arms...

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    1. Caught with open arms and a humble heart. Coming from you, Michael, I am truly honored. Thank you, my friend.

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  3. That’s what I love about you Brynne, your wide open arms. And most of all your wide open heart.

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    1. Thank you, dear Debra...I feel the same way about you. Your open arms and loving heart touch me every time I read you, my friend.

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  4. That was excellent. My journey to decolonize and liberate the mind has just begun. Thanks for sharing such inspiration.

    Anonymous Auto Tech.

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    1. You are further along than you think, my friend. So says my heart. And, secret? Your sharing inspires me, too:)

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  5. Lovely post Brynne. I wish all of us daily walks with open arms.

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    1. Deniz!! Soo happy to find you here! Glad you liked it. And thanks for the wish back:) I missed you, my friend!

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  6. Oh I so love this post. So many little gems.

    (p.s. I restarted my email subscription. I thought putting my favorite blogs, etc. in an rss reader would work but I get busy and forget to check. I need yours right away popping up in my inbox!)

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    1. :) Thank you, sweet soul...how I light up when I find you here. And thanks for signing up again. It motivates me to write from a deeper place in my soul:)

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  7. The chance encounters with strangers are the best. Any one of them could be the next best friend, or have some gem which otherwise we might not have had the oppertunity to see its shine. Even better, is to be the instrument that causes a total stranger to smile when they least expected it.

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    1. :)
      yes...yes...yes:) Nice to have you back again, dear Sara:)

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