I received this poem by Peter Everwine from a reader and friend, this past week. Maybe she sent it to me as it reminded her of the Happiness Sprinkling Project. I am not sure.
For me, it speaks of doing what brings us joy, what makes our heart expand and breathe all the way. It speaks of not always knowing the "why" other than because "we have to." It speaks of sticking it out, day after day, because our heart asks us to.
It reminds me too, of our deep power to affect one another.
I hope it brings you joy, and maybe even a dash of something else.
The girl on the Bullard overpass
looks happy to be there, getting soaked
in a light rain but waving her hands
to the four o'clock freeway traffic
in which I'm anything but happy.
You might think she's too dumb
to come in out of the rain, but rain
or shine, it doesn't seem to matter.
She's there most every afternoon,
as if she does this for a living.
Some living, I'd say. Doesn't she ever
get bored, or wish someone would stop
and say, "Where to?" and her life would change?
That's how I'd be, hating the noise,
the stink of exhaust, the press of people.
I can't imagine what her life is;
mine is confused and often fretful.
But there's something brave about standing alone
in the rain, waving wild semaphores
of gladness to impatient passersby
too tired or preoccupied to care.
Seeing her at her familiar station
I suddenly grin like a fool, wave back,
and forgive the driver to my right,
who is sullen and staring as I pass.
I find her in my rear-view mirror,
then head for a needed drink and supper.
I don't know where she goes, but I hope
it's to a place she loves. I hope the rain
lets up. I hope she's there tomorrow.
Peter Everwine, - from his book Listening Long and Late
This morning, I receive this photo of my son, taken three nights ago.
He and some friends climbed up a rock face, and settled up there for the night. About 500 feet above the valley floor. All cozy, you know?
Someone said to me once, before I had kids, that having children was like having your heart walk outside of your body.
As my children grew up, I started to understand that sentence more and more. That feeling of vulnerability, of knowing that at any given time my heart could get crushed irrepairably. I remember this whole concept taking a little while to find its way into me, to the place where eventually, some peace moved in. Some simple surrender. Some sense of being fully aware that while my heart was just as attached, I had less and less control. Acknowledging this diminishing control was surprisingly soothing.
Eventually, my kiddies walked out into the world on their own, and in their own way.
And somehow, as they travel, grow, explore, learn, I manage to sleep through the night. Whereas twenty years ago I used to get up in the middle of the night to check that they were still breathing, I now go to bed each night, at peace.
Because there is nothing I can do about it.
Here's to growing up, alongside our children, alongside the ones we love. Growing that little space inside of us that says that we can love as big as we can - and that we control so very little.
And that it's okay.
(that being said, I am thankful that I didn't know about the 500-feet-above-the-valley-floor camp out until three days later)
Wishing you a peacefully exciting day!
Just when you think that there is no way love will find you... it often does.
In this case, against the odds, against so many odds.
This is the story of Muffy and Chris, featured in a short New York Times documentary. I believe that their story will find a place inside your heart.
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I write because this is the way I am able to taste life more deeply.