Monday, April 19, 2010
AFTER THE OUCH
Like a turtle we often have to go into our shell to sleep, to rest, to hide perhaps, or to nurse our wounds. And perhaps it is in that shell that we discover the realization that life is about not knowing, about having to change, about seizing the moment and the event that caused our pain and making the best of it.
There will always be new mistakes to make. Trusting what a friend tells you is everything. But it is in this trust that hearts can be broken. Funny thing about communication or lack of it, it leaves us in the dark. People get hurt in the dark. And then there are times, in a kitchen, cooking breakfast for wounded soldiers and their families that we come face to face with real love.
Finding this love, if only for a few brief seconds, allows us to endure, to cope, to take another step. The kind of love I found was the real deal. The kind that doesn't hurt and isn't questioned. The kind of love that makes us more human. There was no pain, no lack or questioning of trust. Just love - pure, clean, fresh and unconditional.
It came as a gift out of nowhere. A wounded soldier's child. She raced into the kitchen and ran to me with a face full of exquisite joy and arms outreached. She hugged my leg and reached up her little arms to be lifted. I picked her up and felt the warmth and comfort I needed so badly.
I thought, 'So this is what love should feel like. No question marks. No ulterior motives.'
Have you ever noticed that our actions and choices, or lack of action, impacts others in a ripple effect?
This morning I wonder why we open our hearts and allow people in, only to be hurt. The question then becomes what if we don't? What if we crawled back into our shell, that is already full of scars, to never risk being hurt again. So we take a chance, a risk, and sometimes we're hurt. We are swept away by words and a need to believe and trust and by a hunger to fill an empty space inside of us. We want it to be right and feel good. And maybe for a while it does. Then reality rears its ugly head and all meaning is lost. So do we risk the potential or stay stuck? Do we miss the dance? Right now I have no answers.
What I do know is that the Whistling Tree duck couple have just returned to set up housekeeping in the hollow of an oak tree here in the middle of suburbia, as they have for the past eight years. Each year the second week of April, the ducks arrive to feast at bird feeders and prepare their nests. Last year thirteen baby ducklings waddled down the alley, following mom and dad, between the garden homes, heading for someplace we will never know. It is always cause for phone calls to the neighbors, alerting them to the arrival and it also becomes a cause for great concern for their safety. The neighborhood security police often act as escorts. It is quite a scene.
Tree Ducks I understand. Eggs I understand. Nourishing America's veterans I understand. Integrity, candor, openness and sincerity I understand. Love not so much.