She led with her bare feet, down the warm stone steps and out into the morning sun. A gentle breeze licked the sea and rushed up to greet her, to ruffle her long hair, to remind her that nature couldn’t wait to play. She looked down at her brown, sun-kissed feet, her silver toe ring glistening like the water her toes so ached to feel.
“Soon, my dears, soon. Once Julio arrives, the sea will get its wish. And we will get ours, too.”
But Julio didn’t come. Fernando and Paco and Martin did, but Julio did not. For weeks he had come every morning at 6 am like the others. Some mornings, she slept. And still he came and worked, his hammering and pounding and sweat-making waking her from her deep and luscious slumbers. On those days, she would bring him lemonade and invite him to take a break as soon as she woke, thanking him for making her home more beautiful. And he would smile at her sleepy-eyed face.
Today, she planned to show him her drawings in the earth, where she wanted the stone pathway to be, its curves and meanders and puddles drawn to make the garden an even greater secret. But at 6 o’clock, he didn’t come. So she couldn’t show him her imaginings.
Still, she waited,
And waited some more.
All the while her head not understanding why,
And her toes, aching for the sea.
“In my country,” she said to Paco, at an ugly-honest moment, “we go to work every day and when we don’t show up, we get fired.”
Paco stopped and turned to meet her eyes with his own. His face was gentle and kind, his eyes glossy with feeling.
“Julio’s sister has the flu. She needed him today.”
“But…but…he has a job…” she started to say.
And then she caught herself, saw herself, realized what she had been taught to believe her whole life, had been wrong. How did I ever see otherwise? She lowered her head and looked inward. And I think she whispered something like this:
Dear Heart, let me not ignore your wisdom ever again. Not when everyone around me tells me otherwise, not when my own head tells me I am a fool. Not now. Not ever again. Money is not my credo. Nor is following the rules of another man’s head. Love and caring are the basic principles of my life. For myself and for others. And from now on, I will honor my heart's wisdom and the wisdom of other's hearts, too.
She took a deep breath, then let it seep out, slowly, like a balloon with a tiny pin-prick hole. A calm peace enveloped her heart…
“I could never fire Julio for caring about his sister. Work can always wait. Love for one’s sister, cannot. And Paco? Where does she live? After I swim in my sea, I want to bring them both flowers.”
* * *
This week, try a life on where money and work is not the bottom line but your heart is. Your soul is. Being in touch with, and honoring the deeper You in you, is.
And today, just today, make decisions not based on how much they cost or how fast it can get done, but on what makes you feel the best. Inside. Drive that way to see the tulips even if you will lose an hour of pay and 4 gallons of gas, and get a stinky look from a co-worker. Eat lunch at a favorite spot and not at your desk because the sun feels right on your face, because today, spending the extra money on a special meal feels right and good. Skip the work requirements, to throw rocks at the beach instead. With your child or by yourself. Take a nap in the middle of the day because you need to. And when they don’t understand, they don’t understand. But you do. And your happy is stronger than a whole mess of other’s distaste. Your glowing, love-filled life will prove it to be so.