Back home, it’s so different than riding in Doolie our camper van. I could get out of the van and have an ocean roaring in my ears from the road noise, I suppose. It is so quiet here. And sometimes I could not easily get out of the van because I had stiffened up from not “stretching in place” or asking the driver to stop once in every hour for a quick break. Here at home, I control how much I move, and it is not enough that’s for sure.
Stretching my physical body was important. My emotional aptitude was what needed more growth.
I learned about building friendships takes time. When we had less than 24 hours in most locations, sometimes the conversations kept us up late. Other stops did not allow enough time to really start the conversation. As we left senior centers, church halls, and conference rooms I realized how one side the conversations had been, monologues given without much time for feedback. I had hogged up an hour of each person’s time. But the true exchange, back and forth, give and take, communication, the conversation was not to happen in these venues.
Among our planned stops, we came upon a few families in crisis. The first family invited us into their crisis as if by doing so we could learn by their example of love and persistence. And we did. It actually fortified us. Another stop we learned that as hard as we tried to make it work, it was not a good time to be there. Our visit became overwhelming and what we thought was a demonstration of care was most likely causing more stress and grief. At the home of the third family in crisis, their bad news was so fresh and shocking for them. No one knew exactly what was happening, but we saw that food was available and took care of errands and offered short visits for relief of the primary care provider.
I learned from these situations to be open and available, and trust that I was ‘enough’ for that moment.
A rose opening to a bloom? An onion with layers being peeled away? Both can cause tears.