Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Wednesday Wish (109); Caring as a Lifestyle

photo by via googleimages

Theresa watched as the driver beside her struggled to find space for her car. Even though she was settled in her own spot, even though she had kids in the car and didn’t need to be bothered with another woman’s issues, Theresa cared. She noticed another woman’s struggle and chose to let it affect her. And when it did, she had no other choice but to start up her own car, to back it up, and to move it over just enough to make more room.

*Because of Theresa—a struggle ended, two hearts grew, and a friendship blossomed.

Tim looked in his rear view mirror as he waited in line for his coffee. He saw a man. In a truck. The man wasn’t yelling or angry and he didn’t look mean, but his eyes and the way his smile scooped down, looked sad. And Tim noticed. Tim cared. So when he got to the window he told the clerk he wanted to buy the man behind him, a coffee.

            “But he’s ordered two drinks, not just one.”
            “Then put both on my bill, please.”
            “Shall I tell him they are from you?” she said with a smile.
            “No, no,” he said, modestly. “Just tell him a stranger cares.”
            And so she did.

*Because of Tim—strangers grew connected, a clerk grew an unexpected smile, and you and I, well, I think it’s fair to say that our hearts probably grew at the mere idea of it all.

Charles knew she wouldn’t be able to afford it otherwise. And somehow, he knew how important the event was to her. Somehow, he just did. So he offered. As he had never offered before. His living room couch. For three nights. To a woman he had never met before. Charles opened his home to help a stranger. She could’ve been crazy. Or filthy. Or even wildly weird. She could’ve stolen from him or treated him badly. He wasn’t stupid. He knew all these things. It was just that his caring was stronger. So much stronger than everything else.

His caring was who he was.
His caring is who he is.

            *Because of Charles—I wept with happy tears, a deep and lasting friendship was born, and that caring part, well, I'm pretty sure it grew stronger in many more hearts than just mine.

*          *          *

Is your hand just your hand or is it more than that, a part of your body?
Is a tree a mere tree or is it more than that, too, a part of the earth?
Is a droplet of the sea really any different than the entire sea?

We are each individuals but we are a part of families, communities, societies—the world.
Each of our acts can be viewed alone
Or they can be strung together
Seen as part of a whole
A whole within us
Affecting everyone around us
A lifestyle
Of our own
Affecting the world.

True caring isn’t an act.
It’s a lifestyle
Aching to be chosen.
At a time.

What life then, will you choose?

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Wednesday Wish (108); Let Nature Speak

photo via

She let nature speak.

And without voice or word, she listened.

She let nature unravel the complicated parts.

She let nature soothe.

She let nature till
And weed
And sow

The garden of her soul.

*          *          *

There it was
A dark brown spot of dirt.
If you walked too fast
You’d miss it
But if you slowed
You might

That it was busy alright
Filled with faith
A faith as strong as Spring can be

*          *          *

She knew.
She always knew.
She didn’t need to fear
To consider the judgments
Or the opinions
Or the brains outsmarting their hearts.
Because she knew
Her nature.
She knew
What she came to earth to do.
She knew
She would blossom
Because she was a flower
And that’s what flowers

*          *          *

He doesn’t ask
Or check his watch
He doesn’t doubt
Or deny his inner clock
He just wakes up
And goes outside
Because it’s time.
Time to end the darkness
Time to open into Spring.

*          *          *

It’s Spring in the Northeast. Hibernation season is nearing an end, the season of light has already begun. Brown spots of earth fester. Flowers peek up their heads and some enjoy a blossom. And we? We humans? Have we forgotten that we are of nature, too?

For like seeds, we fester
And ruminate
But if we stop for a moment to see
From beneath the surface
We can’t help but know
That we can do nothing less
Than become who we were always meant to be.

For like flowers, when we grow toward the light
Toward the kindness
And the love
And the warmth,
We are fed
With exactly what we need.

For like bears,
When the time is right
we crawl into our dens
Of dark
To hibernate
To dream
To ignore the hurt of cold.
And then,
When it is all over,
When the sun returns with its kind heat
To warm our coldest parts
We emerge
With the promise of regeneration
Of new birth
New hope
With the promise of Spring

*          *          *

Let nature speak
To You.

And without voice or word, listen.

Let nature unravel the complicated parts.

Let nature soothe.

Let nature till
And weed
And sow

The garden of your soul.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Wednesday Wish (107); Laugh With Me

photo via

She didn’t know.
She didn’t know that her dogs were barking at a big branch sitting on the trunk of her car as she drove down those slushy streets in Maine that day. They were always loud and rambunctious and especially when she took them from their warm and safe abode. Maybe that’s why she didn’t question it when they didn’t stop their noise. It was cold, very cold. She herself shivered in their little car. Maybe they were extra cold, too.

She didn’t know.
She didn’t know that I was driving behind her, a safe distance behind her, so that when the branch finally did decide to fall off her trunk, I would have time to avoid it. It was big, you see and after realizing what it was and how it probably got there, I could do nothing else but laugh. So I laughed and laughed and laughed … all by myself in my own chilly little car, watching a big branch hold on for dear life with a pile of frantic dogs egging it on, their driver completely oblivious. She just didn’t know.

No, she didn’t know.
She didn’t know that when that branch finally did fly off, crashing into pieces behind her, that car after car would be dodging that trail all morning—swearing and wondering and swearing some more.

She didn’t know why her dogs suddenly stopped barking.

She didn’t know that I drove far behind her and then suddenly drove rather close.

She didn’t know why there was a laughing woman tapping on her window when she stopped at a stoplight. She didn’t know so she just stared at me with wide-eyed fear.

She didn’t understand any of it
Because she was on autopilot
And living in fear.

The lady who didn’t know
missed a chance to laugh with me.

*          *          *

Laugh with me. Lighten your heavy. Take off your coat and let me show you what surrounds you. Take of your shoes and let me help you feel what’s beneath you. Look around. And up. See the everyday. Gobble up the old unseen and then the new. Forget Autopilot and bring in Spring with fresh, awakened eyes. See faces. Trust the love there. Know that you are held by unseen forces wanting only the best for you. And then laugh with me, my dear friend. Laugh with me … for you know the saying … the best is yet to be.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Wednesday Wish (106); Be the Wise Heart

She pushes the shopping cart with gentle sensitivity, feeling every bump in the cold hard floor. After a few aisles she decides to stop for a moment to rub her hands. She could put her gloves on but she prefers to feel everything, to be in touch with her surroundings as much as possible. And gloves prevent that. Or her gloves do. So every few aisles, she rubs her hands. To keep them warm.

Her hands have lived many years. They are soft and forgiving as she kneads them like dough. She watches as the skin ripples up on the back of her hand. It reminds her of tissue paper. Or ripples on the sea. She loves the sea.

He is in a rush. Like most his age. His coat is thin and it’s cold outside. Maybe that’s part of it. Or maybe he is late. Is that why he keeps checking his phone? Or maybe he just doesn’t know how to slow down? His fine leather shoes clip the floor. He doesn’t hear them though. He doesn’t hear much of anything. Not much more than the nagging in his head. His own voice, hurrying him on.

She is just a few steps away watching him, watching him as she rubs her hands.

She is touched by his pace, his inability to be present because of his rush. But more than that, she is touched by his beauty. Not his face or his fine clothes or the way his hair falls across his forehead, no, so much more than that. She is touched by the beauty coming from his eyes, by the grace etched in his fingers, by the warmth flowing from his being. She wonders if he feels it, if he realizes the beauty that he is. And just as she does, he sneezes.

Loud and clear and with such intensity that his hand juts out hitting a jar off the shelf. It crashes to the cold, hard floor with a bang. Like a gun shot. Someone screams. He swears. Again and again and again. And calls himself names. Names the old woman doesn’t understand. Shoppers peer. Faces scoff. And as she watches, she hears him continue to criticize, to punish … himself. For being human.

“You are a gift,” she says.
“Ha! A gift? A gift to the cleaning staff, maybe. More like a pain in the ass. And a complete idiot.”
She stops rubbing her hands, her whole self now focused on him, all him.
“You are beautiful,” she says, her eyes now wet with tears.
He turns and stares.
She holds her warm hands together, her eyes now dripping tears.
He half-smiles at her, thanking her with his eyes for something he does not understand.
And as he walks away he finds himself turning to find the woman’s eyes once again. They are gentle and sparkling and filled with a love he forgot he knew.
“I am beautiful,” he says in a whisper, touched by her distant gaze. “Maybe I forgot. Yes maybe, somehow, I did …”

*          *          *

Be the wise heart who looks beyond to see the beauty within every person around you. Be the wise heart who sees and helps others to see, too. Illuminate compassion. Bring light to the neglect and hatred so many have for themselves. How? By being the wise heart. By being the old woman inside yourself who sees with nothing but love. Because she knows … and you know … that love is who we all are, each of us, at our core.