The streets and sidewalks were still damp and puddly from the nighttime rain. I edge out of the house and gingerly step down the drive. The street is shiny and wet. I don’t look around. I look down. The milky, early morning sun is warm. It’s going to be hot. I have plenty of time to get to school. It doesn’t matter. I am going to be late.
I’m going to save them all.
And I try. Over and over I bend over to scoop their slithery, writhing little selves off the quickly drying pavement and onto the cool grass so they can burrow back into the earth. I can’t make heads or tails of them! But I don’t feel triumphant as they slide off my fingers into safety. I fuss and I worry. Am I putting them back in the right place so they can find their families?
Anxious, overwhelmed, fussed, I am way in the back, slumped in a seat, shrinking away from the crowd that surrounds me. They are all looking up. I should be looking up. I should be but I just can’t. Instead I look down. A tiny speck. A solitary ant, boldly and stealthily making his way across the floor. The brave advance guard! All alone.
Like the self-important Florence Nightingale of the insect world, I turn to rummage for a scrap of paper intent on scooping the tiny thing up and winging him to safety and freedom out into the sunlight.
But when I turn he’s been crushed. As am I.
There is a lot of in between here. I wonder, moving so fast for so long, what other small marvels have I arrogantly and short-sightedly overlooked? How much have I missed?
I flit by here all the time. A quick glance out the car window, a heartbeat’s worth of appreciation, and my eyes are back firmly on the road, I’m zooming on my way. But tonight is different. Tonight I stop. Slowly I make my way down to the pond. And I sit.
I tap my foot nervously. Let’s go, let’s go, let’s go! I jitter and sneak glances at my watch. What am I waiting for exactly? To be instantly embraced by the rhythms of nature? To have all secrets revealed?
The pond, surrounded by delicate trees and brushed by soft flowers, is down a gentle slope next to the library. It’s bordered by roads and as I sit I’m enveloped not by the spark of nature but buffeted by the whoosh of the engines as cars careen wildly around the corners. I can’t think.
If the steely-eyed drivers bother to glance out their windows as they roar past, they will see me sitting there. A tiny speck. Alone. I shift uncomfortably.
I won’t stay. Instead I make my way back up the path and to the library. The great indoors: my own Elysium. I enter and I am at once embraced by a cloud of quiet.
It’s here that I feel safe. Blanketed by thought, soothed by words, I find the peace that I’m longing for. It’s here that I can, for a few moments at least, just allow thought to wash over me like a salve. Here, if I listen very closely, I can even feel the pulse of souls, both large and small.
And it is here, finally, that by myself I chide myself gently for what I have for so long forgotten to notice. And it’s here that I can too remind myself that there is always so much to see if I make the effort
to look up
and always down.
10 thoughts on “Post #43: The Pulse of Souls”
Lovely. As always. A zissen Pesach to you and yours. Joanne
And to you and yours, Dear KG! All sweetness.
On Tue, Apr 19, 2016 at 3:14 PM, notes from the room in my head wrote:
I used to “rescue” the worms when I was a child, too. And if I’m honest, I have to admit that I still do, from time to time.
And thank you for such a beautiful post about perspective, and finding where we belong.
A fellow worm-rescuer? Then we are both on the same page, indeed! Thank you as well for all of your insights. Your blog makes me feel enveloped in a hug. Warmest wishes, C
On Wed, Apr 20, 2016 at 3:13 PM, notes from the room in my head wrote:
So nice to be reminded of everything that is often overlooked. As always, thanks!
My dear Sir, you have always been way ahead of me. You and Rick were the first people I knew who were aware of and truly cared for the world around them. Your little cousin is and will always be grateful to you both for leading the way! Hugs to you.
On Wed, Apr 20, 2016 at 10:22 PM, notes from the room in my head wrote:
Hi, I have looked at this email link for a few days now, thinking that I so welcome your writings and should stop to read…..yet I waited. Today when all the hurry scurry has stopped, I clicked the link.
Somehow the timing of your writings and musings always find the right time to deliver the message and the moment.
Thank you for all.
Dear Donna, I am so proud and grateful that you take the time to read the posts. I write them because I need to write them. That I’m able to have people I care about read them is almost overwhelming to me. Thank you so very much. With love, C
On Mon, Apr 25, 2016 at 6:32 PM, notes from the room in my head wrote:
Oh, this is good. So good. And I don’t say that lightly. I love your descriptions but you don’t go overboard. I love your honesty but you don’t make me cringe. And I love that you saved earthworms b/c I will cop to going outside three times last week to see if the little barely squirmy guy I tried to save a bit too late from my driveway made it. He didn’t. But many others have:). Glad to know you’re saving them in your corner of the world.
Dear Kay, Thank you so very much. Truly, I am selfish little git–I write this for myself, because I need to. I’m intensely grateful to you and any others who take the time to read the blog. I can’t tell you what it means to me to connect with smart, feeling people like yourself. It’s a game changer for me to know that people like you are out there. Let’s keep doing this! As ever, C
On Wed, Apr 27, 2016 at 7:44 PM, notes from the room in my head wrote: