Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Summer Evening Walk

A friend and I were walking and talking last evening. It’s been a cool summer, but the night air was heavy and warm. We were reflecting on things… I thought about people I’ve known for a long time, people whose eyes have lost their sparkle, people who have been hurt or are sad. I thought about people I work with, and their deep struggles.

Our hearts hurt for one another, and when one falls, we aren’t ok. I thought about God as the shepherd, seeking out the lost and just how many there are… so many lambs. Sometimes I get overwhelmed by the problems and the broken hearts I see around me, just by the sheer volume of pain and sad stories. Sometimes in my work, I feel submerged, like maybe I could be drowned by all the heartache around me.

Somehow in the summer air, in the light of the near-full moon, my mind shifted. The fabric of pain and suffering and sorrow was transformed, if only for that moment. I felt the treasure in knowing one another so deeply. Part of our sadness is in knowing the secret sufferings of one other. We know each other’s disappointments and losses, struggles and places of questioning.

We are incredibly rich to be known.

As a stranger in town, I could look around and say “Yeah, these people seem cool.” I could superficially pick traits about each that I like (and there are so many) but over time, in context, I also see the teardrops wear the faces down, weathering the smiles and optimism. I’m thankful not to be alone as I walk through this thing called life.

My friend and I were quiet, and looked at the moon. We shared memories of dancing here in the moonlight. We walked to the edge of a fountain. It was a clear basin, the water smelled faintly chlorinated. It didn’t look so deep. We gave one another a knowing look, and took our shoes off and stepped in. We walked around the ankle deep wading pool a bit. It felt amazing- the freshest thing we had ever felt. We grew bolder, and climbed down a waterfall of stone steps. We came to the pool at the base and she jumped in. We both submerged and then played in the waterfalls, feeling the power of the water heavy on our backs, rippling over us like laughter.

There are good moments and memories we share, too. This also is our treasure.