My husband and I celebrated our 11th wedding anniversary on September 30th. We’ve been together for the past 15 years. We’ve welcomed three new humans into the world. We’ve said goodbye to at least five people that we loved dearly as they passed from this realm into the mist of what follows.
We’ve grown together. Evolved together. We’ve come out of hiding together to be more Us. Both in our individual selves and our togetherness.
This man is ever thinking and ever refining. He is a lover of systems and problem solving. He swims in the corporate world day to day. And yet he touches that potentially dry space with vivid color and connection to something More.
On this day, I’d love to share with you a piece that Greg wrote a couple of months ago. I share this as a glimpse into simple compassion and kindness in a time that can feel chaotic and swirly. When we each do what we can to soften this place we call Home, we do in fact make a profound impact. I am grateful to soften in with this kind, gentle and inquisitive soul.
Most weeks, Rachel will ask me “Did you read my blog post?” In my head, I generally reply “I live your blog posts!” To prove this, here is my attempt to write something worthy of being a guest blog post.
My alarm is set for 5:00 AM, but yesterday morning, I woke up at 4:35 AM without the alarm and I was awake. When I say “I was awake,” I really mean that my first impulse was not to put the pillow over my head. In truth, it’s been rather hard for me to get up consistently at 5:00 AM to: feed the cats, run 1 mile, do very un-fancy yoga, and meditate for at least 5 minutes since early April.
Okay, running hasn’t been consistent since December.
However, yesterday was different. I was out of bed, cats fed, and opened the door to the screened-in porch, and that is when I heard a sound that stopped me.
I couldn’t distinguish the sound, just that it sounded like a human in pain. Against the early morning dark, among the rustling of green leaves, and very little else, there was this sound, bouncing and echoing around the neighborhood. I couldn’t figure out what direction it was coming from. I shrugged, went out the door, down the stairs, through the chain-link fence gate that sounds as loud as a car crash at that time of morning, then up the driveway to start my “run.”
Within a few steps, I had forgotten about the sound. A half mile later, I turned the corner, and headed down the hill, back toward my house. When I reached the point of my track that is roughly parallel to my house, a mourning dove started talking right above me and wanted me to listen. I stopped. That’s when I heard the sound again. This time I was sure it was behind me.
I walked slowly back up the street, listening, looking. There it was again. Passing one house, then coming to the next with lights on inside, front door open. Very uncommon in my neighborhood before 7:00 AM. I stopped and listened. There it was again. I shone my flashlight toward the house. The next time I heard the sound it was unmistakable.
There, fully hidden and laying between his house and tall bushes, at the top of a hill, set 40 feet back from the road, I found my 90 year old neighbor that I had never met before. It’s a little unclear how long he had been lying there, crying for help, but my best guess is at least 12 hours. He said he was pulling vines along the base of the house when he fell.
Right or wrong, my first instinct was to get this man out off the ground and out of the bushes.
A few minutes later, we were sitting together on his front steps. He drank several cups of water and his hands were starting to shake less. We sat there in silence, we sat and we talked, we sat there in silence. As the sun slowly climbed, the dark gave way to that strange blue before real
light shows you truth. The same light in which the box turtle you thought was in the yard was really just a leaf.
That was also when I noticed the noise of the day growing. Cars were on the roads, birds were singing, the neighborhood was waking up. I realized then how hard it would have been to hear this man’s cry for help after 6:00 AM.
Wait, there is more.
This morning, I got back from my “run” and I had the idea in my head to write this story about the morning quiet, but the irony was that I was so far in my head that I wasn’t hearing the quiet anymore. Once again a strange sound, this time very different, followed by the mourning dove.
So I took the hint. I sat down, closed my eyes and listened to the quiet, breath in through the left nostril, out through the right, in through the right, out through the left. I lost track of time.
At some point, something inside me asked, “How long have I been sitting here? Should I stop now and go do the rest of my chores?” That’s when I was bathed in a bright light. The motion detector on the back of my neighbor’s house had turned on, the dog was on his way out to do his business, the neighborhood was waking up.
Have a morning, as often as possible.
May we find connection with one another through our sacred experiences in the quiet. May we learn how to hold space for each other beyond the fillers of busy and words and into the blue dawn of feeling. May we lean into the love and shared frequency of a spouse, a pet, a sibling, a parent, a dear friend, the mailman, and all others whom cross our paths.
May we share kindness and quiet as we explore in this Life.