NANCY G. SHAPIRO

FINDING CALM IN THE MIDST OF CHANGE

Being Human

April 9, 2017

 

It was a week of waiting for the proofread edit of my book, wondering at some of what I’ve written. Not the parts taken from actual experiences that have made me stretch and grow beyond limiting patterns, but the learning that has come about from times when no matter how sincerely I’ve shown up with everything available to me, things remained unsettled. 

 

Experience is experience, however it turns out, and sometimes people and situations aren’t going to come together in understanding or collaboration or even an agreement to disagree. Things just might stay tangled or confusing or messy or horrible. 

 

It’s been a week of chemical warfare, too many friends with illnesses and stress, a deeper personal realization of human frailties, now-normal abnormal heat in early spring, the stink of skunk waking me up two nights in a row, the Keystone pipeline leaking oil, my mother’s bruises and cuts from falling in her room almost gone, the fall maybe part of why she couldn’t sign her name on her tax return a few days ago, the Alzheimer’s taking its toll.

 

It has also been a week filled with the loud hum of bees in the mesquite trees gathering nectar for honey, reading about the 55,000 young people of Plant-for-the-Planet planting one trillion trees to keep carbon emissions down and taking the future into their own hands, celebrating birthdays and planning trips, discovering a book and an article that opened up closed doors within myself, some piece of mom’s memory suddenly connecting today so she was able to sign her name on the roster at the front desk when she left with my sister for a walk and lunch (with her favorite coconut ice cream for dessert). 

 

I cried when I read this line in an email my sister wrote describing their wonderful afternoon together: “Oh, to be human is not for the faint-hearted . . . ” 

 

 

Photograph by Gerri Davis

 

 

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Calming Practice: Reach Out

 

Take a walk with someone you love.

 

 

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