The beauty of children is their intuitive eye for little miracles. My son introduced me to a family of hatching killdeer chicks. We were able to witness their arrival into the world. It was an experience worth kneeling in the scorching heat for; which we did until the distressed, protestations of their parents moved us to pity. We sat as still and quietly as possible and let our awe wash over us. In those moment, I was present. What a gift it was to witness one of life’s transitions.
At the very same time, a dear friend is going through a life changing transition. I am not near enough to hold her hand through these changes and it makes my heart ache. She has been the first to call, the first to ask “How are you doing?” when my life has been difficult. So I send texts, care packages, and cards. She says it has lifted her spirits, but the truth is I do it for myself. Those cards and packages are selfish; they make me feel better, too.
I am frightened. Frightened of not doing enough or being enough in my relationships. This fear has pushed me to reach out, stay in contact, with my friend during her difficulty. This quote from the gifted writer Khaled Hosseini has been haunting me, “It’s a funny thing, Markos, but people mostly have it backward. They think they live by what they want. But what really guides them is what they’re afraid of. What they don’t want.” Since I have read that passage, I have seen the truth of it within my life.
Fear has been the motivation behind many of my choices. It lurks behind the surface motives of my life. Fear of marriage, fear of stagnation, fear of failure, and now fear of loss. I am afraid of losing my friend. I’ve been holding her as tightly as I can from a great distance.
Fear is not a negative emotion. It can be a catalyst for growth. I now know that my fear of loss is rooted in love. I act out of love. Love for my good-best friend and her brave, loyal heart. When I see her again, I will be still and I will be present, thankful for her presence in my life. My friend is hatching, like the little birds. She is casting off her shell and welcoming positivity and gratitude into her life.
Light and love.