What was my role here? I was very doubtful that I could solve her problems. I knew I should show empathy but just how effusive should I be? A more cynical voice inside my head suggested I gasp in stark wonder as she told her story. No, I was not going to solve problems, certainly not in the limited time we had on our first visit. So I pushed my stool back against the wall to support my back and listened, listened and let go. Let go of all that pressure to solve the problem, to make sure that I did not miss something so critical that it would haunt me for years. I took in a deep breath and in the letting go came forward, in mind to listen fully, to just listen and be with. Her husband needed to be heard too. So my attention went back and forth between the two of them and like a swing on a soft summer day, like tiny waves lapping up on the shore of a lake. I was in their flow, I was entering their lives and I liked it there. I was sorry for her pain, for the pain I could not fix, but I was aware, infused with their love for each other, and that was enough.
My smile was met by her smile. And her furrowed brow tugged on a rope, a rope that pulled up a bucket from a deep well inside me, and I was made aware of life’s fragility, life’s fleeting nature. That being true—life’s fragility—what do we have left? Only the connection, the connections we all make with each other day to day. These connections, forged a strand at a time, can form a thick rope of interconnectedness. And in that connection I felt peace. I felt a solemn peace and a bubbling up of joy.