I had one of the nicest compliments this morning. I was late and limping hard as I tromped around my bedroom finding everything I needed before a doctor's appointment in Seattle. When my cell phone buzzed from the same number that had called with a rather anonymous message about animals just a few minutes prior, I picked it up with a brusque, "This is Lora." The woman on the phone said she didn't know me, but that she had read something on my blog that made her happy AND made her cry, and she wanted to thank me for writing it. This woman is one of the real-life angels in the world who runs an animal shelter.
My hurry went away as I listened to, and received, her kind words about my words. She said that when there was so much trouble happening personally and universally, it helped her to know there was someone else contemplating the unity we share with animals.
After the call, my pace slowed a bit and I was grinning. Everything became more fluid as I limped a little a slower, which meant less pain. The tasks of making lunch for the ferry, drinking my protein shake, grabbing my shoes, topping my red water bottle -- all seemed like pleasant tasks.
Now I am sitting on the ferry crossing Puget Sound to Seattle from my home on Bainbridge Island. It is a glittering day, the kind of day you feel you have earned after relentless rain, and both a cold winter and spring. I love the ferry because when you cross Puget Sound to get from one place to another, you see the city stretched before you in much the same way Dorothy looked at Oz from that poppy field.
Because of the fine weather, I can see the Cascades when I look across the 8-mile span between Seattle and Bainbridge. The faces and tops of the peaks gleam a white shimmer. Mount Rainier is out today, too, and the clouds clinging to her base make her white peak look insubstantial, almost weightless, as if it she was birthed from the clouds, and not rock and loam.
I can see a a green tanker, far in the distance, and another immense cargo ship with a an orange and white hull. Flocks of sailboats, their white sails full like puffed cheeks cut through the smooth waters, looking more like children's toys at this distance than anything else.
The rumble of the ferry motor makes the car vibrate ever so subtly, and the hum lulls my body. The occasional burst of laughter coming from the decks above merges with constant splash of water, and the now-and-then scuffle of passengers waking near my car, the clink of heavy chains, and a seaplane's whirr. The breeze is soft, smelling of salt, and the fresh aroma that comes only from miles and miles of open water.
This is a commute when you go to the doctor's three days a week, and sometimes I am too tired or in too much pain to pay attention. But today, I remember that the journey to the healer is part of the gift you offer for the healing. And that I am most blessed to live on my island with black rabbits, eagles and owls, a gang of coyotes, a few obligatory deer, ancient cedars PLUS a husband and dog (I buried the lead; the husband tops the list). And that my pain is slowly vanishing as the weeks of treatment pass.
One woman, whom I have never met and may never meet, transformed this day by sharing a bit of her heart with me, and made me sit back and refocus. I wonder how you are today? Has someone told you you are gorgeous and precious today? Can you receive that compliment from me? Do you need to be held in unity, and see my eyes meeting yours in a gaze that is deeper than a glance, a true sincere acknowledgement of who you really are?
I wish I knew you. Whoever you are. Can this be your anonymous call from the kind stranger that lets you know you are a good writer, a good mother, a good friend, a good carpenter, a good accountant, a good earth steward? If you stop and think about it, and actually made a list of ALL the kind things you have done today you would astonish yourself at the breadth of your own heart.
It all counts. The breakfast for the kids. Letting the car cut in front you, and saying bless you rather than the far more common and obvious obscenity. Taking an extra moment to pet any animal. The choice of self-care. Calling a friend just to listen. Doing anything unexpected for your spouse, and being in gratitude because you have one. And if you are single, blessing rich silence, and your own extraordinary company.
The seemingly random call changed my day, and I wonder how many times a day I am being called by life when I am hurried or too busy to notice the call, too distracted to pick-up.
I think the cosmic phone is always ringing in one way or another. Today I got a literal call, which reminds me to be present to all the ways in which unity reaches out to remind me that we are one tribe only.
The ferry is about to dock. Time to disembark, and say goodbye. Have a great day. Remember, you are loved.