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Posts Tagged ‘Albert Camus quote’

Don’t walk behind me; I may not lead. Don’t walk in front of me; I may not follow. Just walk beside me and be my friend. (Albert Camus)

I am thinking about leaving water aerobics class a tad early. If I took a shower at the Y instead of at home, those few extra minutes could come in handy to begin a task or two.

The house needs to be reassembled after some minor construction in our bathroom. Kids will be at our house again tomorrow. I need to practice my set for a performance next week, and I have a writing deadline. Actually, I have several, including this weekly blog.

The instructor moves one way and I turn another. Fortunately, I don’t collide into anyone else. Apparently this moment is progressing and my mind is shifting somewhere else. Oops. One more time from the top.

I catch the eye of a fellow class member. We talk. Our conversation doesn’t stay with safe subjects, such as the temperature inside the pool, or outside where Mother Nature lets wind, storm, or sun take random turns with the weather. Our hearts meet in the important places where caring for others matters. And that caring charges a toll with no set rate.  Unpredictable is standard.

This kind of real-life communication happens often during classes. Funny how I keep up with the instructor’s transitions when I am interacting with another person. Yet, when my mind wanders to places I can’t touch, I’m lost.

The shower can wait. At least until I get home. For now, I spend time with other water comrades. And celebrate the gift of the moment.

friendship in pond, pool, or random flower

frog hugging frog

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You cannot create experience. You must undergo it. (Albert Camus)

As I get into the car to pick up my number-one granddaughter from school I wonder how much energy I have left in this sixty-eight-year-old body. Hopefully, I’ll last through the hour and a half before Kate’s music lesson. However, Kate’s enthusiasm is contagious. She continues in high gear to tell me about school events, and she doesn’t soften the blow about the difficult moments. I am grateful for my new hearing aids and for a restaurant that isn’t exceptionally noisy as she tells me about unfair situations that affect other kids and how she discerns her part in helping. Her wisdom shows restraint as well as concern, the ability to know when to jump in and when to wait for a safer, more effective moment.

Every freckle on her face glows and I revel in her fresh beauty.

I am now awake, aware; chances to learn surround me. Sometimes those moments are pure gift, the opportunity to simply say thank you. My most recent short story at Piker Press, Return of the Goldfinch, was published one day before a long-time friend’s brother died. Judy had taken care of her brother in her home during his final days. The story comforted her. While I can be grateful for that, the greater gift is my awareness of a friend who gave her home to a brother who could give nothing of material value back. Judy gives because she is Judy. I am blessed because I know her. My spirit awakens as I think about her. She gave her brother the opportunity to fly from a weakened body. In peace.

My youngest granddaughter, Ella, has led me toward the narrower, higher path since the day she was born. I had the notion that I would spend my day writing to my heart’s content. Page upon page would pour from my spirit because I had just retired. Time could now be mine! A divine higher power had other plans. Ella was born seven weeks early, with Down syndrome; she would need two surgeries before leaving the hospital. A giraffe bed in an intensive care unit was her first home. Since her parents needed to return to work I was among the chosen caregivers. Not only did my spirit deepen so that I could write on a more effective level, I made a new friend—an infant who would become my teacher.

In fact, when Ella was barely crawling, my husband was watching a movie too violent for me. One scene came painfully close to my own experience. That long-ago incident does not need to be relayed  here, but as the drama unfolded I gasped as if I were the young woman on the screen, as if time had removed almost fifty years of my life in the flash of a movie frame. Ella climbed into my lap. She looked directly into my eyes as if to say, Look at me, not into the past. And I saw such beauty and compassion in my granddaughter’s eyes that I knew wisdom lived inside this child. I felt blessed to be in her world.

Yes, the narrow road ahead that involved her care would be difficult. Not everyone would understand that a child with special needs gives more than the cost entails.

Easy isn’t always better.

I suspect that if I had taken a nap instead of spent time with my oldest granddaughter on this ordinary Wednesday afternoon, I would have awakened groggier than ever. And this train of thought would have never begun.

I wonder what opportunities tomorrow will bring. But that is on tomorrow’s agenda.

conquer fear beginning of wisdom narrow bridge

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