One had a toddler who was just about 11 months old and the other was about 7 months pregnant. Their male counterparts were seated across from them.
I commented to them how beautiful it was to see such a loving, growing family.
Moments later, tears fell from my eyes. Rushed and fell. Rushed and fell. Unstoppably so.
I sat quietly. Very quietly, feeling years of yearning. Years of grief and torrents of love.
It was in this quiet that I needed nothing. Asked for nothing. But also felt everything. Broken and whole. Tender and loving. Strong and loyal. Raw and exposed.
After my final tear fell, the mother sister, holding her son in her arms, walked up to me and said, "Please don't be sad. Everything is all right."
I said to her, "Your family has opened my heart."
She touched my cheek with the most tender look of love in her eyes, providing for me, a moment of feeling so much empathy and deep seeing. And then I said goodbye to each of the other family members and watched them take leave.
That is what happens sometimes. Some of us open each other. To new and unexpected places. They were a beautiful, intact and burgeoning family and that touched a place inside of me that longed to be in conversation "with" its counterpart.
In this moment, at this time. I long to be in conversation with everything. The good, the bad, the challenging. All of it.
Dr. Douglas Brooks spoke about when his beloved teacher was about to leave his body.
Appa asked, "What do you think will happen to the conversation?"
Douglas responded by saying, "I think the conversation will go silent."
Appa then said, "Then you will have to go to the silence."
Go to the silence.
I go to the silence often.
I learned long ago, that it was the most powerful way to continue the conversation Douglas speaks about. His is a very specific and sacred one. Mine are as well. Each and every time.
I feel grateful that I am able to hold it all. The beauty and the pain. It's kind of like keeping room for Elijah at the table. Making space for my shadow and my light to come to life at all times so that nothing is ever hidden. So that everything always has an opportunity to move through and run its course. So that full actualization is the aim... Love, and kindness, the GPS.
Whether I sit or stand, I will always stand in truth. With a sister who gazes at me with love. With someone who is displeased with me and needs me to hear it. For as long as it takes. No matter what.
No matter what.
Because nothing can shake me from my values.
And I have a reliable GPS in my back pocket.