Newly Fallen Petals

From the early pages of our founder’s journal:

I’m not sure how I feel about something that’s happened.  Something that is happening.  I don’t know what to do with it in my heart.  My mind.  Inside.

There is definitely a positive side to it.  On the one hand, if feels very special.  And good.  On the other hand it is very disturbing to me.  Unsettling.  Not really good at all.

How do I feel about this?

With this issue, like so many, I find that my processing mechanisms are off.  The realities of life here seem to daily challenge my heart’s spirit in new ways.

I think.  I react.  I overreact.  I respond.

And then I don’t.  Don’t respond.  Don’t react.  Don’t think.

Yet emotion forever moves within me like the distinct, quiet steps of a horseman on the cobbles of a street in darkness.

I wonder, am I going mad?  I just don’t know what to do with this.

Should I be proactive?  Should I stop it?  Should I address it in some way?

Or should I leave it alone?  Let it go?  Continue?  Mature?

Or fade.  Develop as it will.

For now, it is stretched on the floor of my heart-garden like a drying carpet.  Or a picnic blanket anticipating a feast.

No teacher has prepared me for this.  No sacred text I have read seems to articulate morality’s answer.  And my memory doesn’t re-hear the sensible voice of an elder speaking to just exactly this.

Not that I am the only person to have ever encountered this.  Surely not.  Still, what should I do?

It all started during lunch when the teachers were telling the rest of my staff and me about their morning. Cute anecdotes and special stories often provide the final, savory dimension to our noontime hour of flavor and sounds on the dining-porch.

“One thing that has always surprised me,” Sarah said, “is how the children conclude their stories during show-and-tell.”

“What do you mean?” someone asked.

Sarah’s reply was the trumpet sound for my pensive-charge.  “Well,” she answered, “they always summarize by saying, ‘And if it weren’t for Daddy, I would not still be alive.’”

Oh God, no.

Oh God, please.

Who told them this?  Why would my four-year-old feel the need to say this?  My ten year-old?

While I am hugely gratified, and adore a heart grateful for life, what do I do with the realization that children, my children, are contemplating life and death?

And me.

After much thought, I may have decided to leave this untouched.

Like tiny yellow daisies sprouting in a lawn.

Or a breeze billowing the curtains of an open window.

Whispers from the girls’ room in the wee hours.

Newly fallen petals from the centerpiece.

Like teardrops on the pages of a letter.

I think this must be left alone.

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  1. Suzy says:

    Your pungent words and musing touched my soul deeply, coming from the African bush in a stream of soul searching thought. Made me search my own heart and how I am handling things here in Africa and other parts of my life. I am eternally grateful to you my dear friend for impacting me again in such a powerful way! always, suzy

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