Raise your words, not voice. It is rain that grows flowers, not thunder. -- Rumi
This week has been marked by angry voices, voices raised in frustration, and tinged with drug induced rage and anger. Perhaps it is the time of year, the onset of the fall rains of the Oregon Coast, the shorter days of sunlight, and the realization that winter and its wetness and grayness is coming.
Yet, in all that, there has been bits of gold.
A quick trip to the beach with a good friend, to share a bottle of rare wine, as we enjoy a sunny, almost warm afternoon, and the occasional whiff of a slash burn in the forest, and heart to heart conversation about life and this time in our lives. We work in the same building, yet it has been nearly two years since the last peaceful afternoon at the beach and sharing a bottle of good wine.
Today, I attended the retirement party of a good friend, and spent time with old friends, and celebrated a solid career, marked with decency, professionalism, and a celebration of treating others with respect and support.
And, I visited a new friend in jail, watching him glow with pride in becoming a trustee, and reducing his jail sentence, and starting to feel good about himself and who he is. More importantly, we talked about who he is becoming, and where he wants to go. We worked on our relationship, and finding out a bit about each other.
In that dance, I saw a young man begin to honor the flicker of hope and self respect that lies inside of him, and watched him start to feed that weak flame, savoring the heat and the light that comes from taking care of one’s soul, and nourishing one’s dreams.
All that is a start, a beginning. He’s twenty, but really fifteen, and ready to grow and become the man he wants to be.
In that conversation, the negativity and anger of the week fell away, and I found new hope for the future, new dreams, and the twinkle in his eyes gladdened my heart and gave me hope, and joy. There is work to be done, but we have started down his path, and the next steps will be easier than the ones he has struggled to make.
Good work was done this week, and, as always, that good work comes from simple things, and going back to the basics. Respect, patience, listening. Being present. And, taking the time to simply reach out to someone and telling them that you care.
In such simplicity, great change will come. I am simply the gardener, throwing out a few seeds on ground that is ready for what will surely come.