We wake up in the morning. We breathe and love and laugh and cry and live and eat. Do jumping jacks and shower. We take out the trash. We slip a love note into our loved one’s lunch bag. We bustle about and head to work. We give money to the person with the sign at the freeway entrance. We whip out our credit card and air lift a wriggling worm across the vastness of a warming sidewalk into a flower bed after a heavy rain. (Okay, that was a true confession — I rescue worms!) We tell the barista that we like her earrings while waiting for our coffee. We call our brother to tell him that yes, starting his new business in this economy is a good idea. We hug a student who is struggling with finances. We laugh with a colleague over coffee. Life is good.
We move beyond the familiar and engage on some small level that tells us that we are connecting. How we do this is coincidental and mysterious. It is all so seemingly random — at least it is for me. I rarely set out each morning with the knowledge that I am going to change the world. But I do. We all do. With small baby steps, we reach across the unknown and discover someone else’s uniqueness in this mighty wilderness.
By joining hands in the darkness, we all make the path a bit easier to navigate. We can warn each other about a deep dip in the trail, an exposed tree root that would send us flying off the path, an abrupt switchback. We can hold low branches aside until the other passes and we can call out a nettles warning. We, together, can sing a marching song from our childhood and shine our lights and guide each other into a more friendly part of the forest.
This sometimes requires me stepping outside my comfort zone. I can’t count the times I have thought, I can’t believe that I just did that. It’s surprising , actually. Intuitive offers of help, advice, money, food. Sometimes unwanted and misunderstood? Yes. But that is how the moments play out. I try to remind myself that we will all find our way in the darkness if we just take the risk of being misunderstood. Of joining hands in this mighty wilderness.