Took a walk in crisp almost-but-not-entirely fall weather to the local coffee shop this morning. And I gave myself a period of time to just breathe and be creative. Wow, have I missed having space to clear my minds and let the words pour out in writing. I so needed this. Following is what came out of that:
Relationship and cultivation should always go together. No matter what stage you think you are at. We walk around with balloon strings drooping, feet dragging the ground, heart washing away with the chalk stains. Our parades are rained on, and we are dragging our feet through the confetti, glitter, and wrappers, shells of what once used to be all over the ground. And someway, somehow, we hope our lost and lonely hearts get found.
We’re screaming inside but dare not actually let out anything, for fear we’ll crumble so far people will mistake the struggle for the story. And that is far from the truth. If we only glanced past the front page headlines, the things that seem to dominate, realizing that the predicted forecast of overcast is just the surface of the matter. Why then, do we insist on wearing hearts under armor, styling and painting them, in such a way designed to cover the sacredness of our flaws. Because there is something so profoundly, magically, inexpressibly beautiful in admitting that we are broken, that something is not right, no matter how fantastic we’re doing, all is not well at the core. And we each ache for that to be fixed, to be whole, to view our inside selves as precious and held in love, for that ever elusive more. What it is we cannot define, but to it every tendency of our souls inclines. And so we look for the glorious, the splendid, and the lovely flashing through the newscast of the everyday, catching light through the tree leaves, changing the gut punch force of delivering bad news, because we believe that everything sad will one day, and is now, coming untrue.
Sitting here at a tiny local coffee shop, oh how this emotion filled sophomore in college facing the weight of what seems (probably over-dramatic, per usual) to be the world. Or at least her world. Oh how she longs for that, to see the fragile delicate beauty, to see the soul stirring, to find the absolute gems in this miraculous, and – to borrow a phrase from her favorite band – needle and haystack life. We are once in a lifetime. And so I believe we all need reminders of this gift, this one that try all we want to with our two hands, we cannot hold on to but only remain open to the process, the being changed and deepened and traveled. To see the person, the character, the lasting part developed, that is more special than any of us will ever realize. But I plan to live and experience with every sense tingling, eyes wide open, hopes set ablaze, plunging into the grace that is ocean deep with every step. I plan to love to my fullest capacity, to learn how to put self aside on a shelf and reach for the hands and hearts right next to me, to embrace them where it hurts, where its uncomfortable, where they – and turns out I – need it most. To seek to strengthen and grow the connection, to hold on and offer words of hope, whispers of reassurance, silences soft, and listening eyes and soul, even in the dark.
The exchange in this perspective is unparalleled. I don’t have the ability to reach out and be superman, saving the world on a grand stage. But I can choose to water the little gardens around me, to plunge in through the weeds, excuse and help untangle the mess, to help grow the soil ever richer in nutrients, to direct it towards the sunlight, to admire it’s rare and precious beauty, the vivid color and detail with which it exists. To let these flowers blossom, and to experience that glorious transformation with them.
This is why I believe that cultivation and relationship should always go together. One requires the other. Much like the pairing of darkness and light, we require one to view the other aright. Like peanut butter and jelly, a comforting and familiar, back to the childhood days of sunshine and water sprinklers and mama hugs, sensation. Like joy and sadness, a call to view the whole perspective, and see the end will result in celebration. Cultivate. Do relationships. And while intentioned to support other souls on this terrifyingly great journey, it will well work on you very own soul and cause it to see the beauty too.