I emerged from the birthday party filled with the hope that comes from sharing conversations with old and new friends. The music, celebration of one’s life, and surprising connections all came together in a way to remind me of how important our stories are. I discovered someone who had walked many of my steps in Kodaikanal and more. I talked to someone sharing a passion to do more with what is already here. It was an evening of surprising finds, interesting dialogue, and reflection.
As I walked out and into a late tropical night, I found myself caught in the shadows of old and new. I sat on a bench in the shadows and watched the world unfold around me. Most of what I heard was the sounds of a city wrapping up its week. It had been a busy one, for everyone. We needed a Sabbath rest, even if we did not realize it. In the quietness of that moment, I realize everything around me came with a unique story. As one listened, Life began to speak. It was as if “Madame Day holds classes every morning, Professor Night lectures each evening.” (Psalm 19.2) When I was ready to hear, the Director called ‘action!”
There were many lessons offered that night. Even the obvious had another tale or two to go with the story. A couple embracing had ducked out on their bill. Another just arriving had actually come and gone hours before. Old buildings were now homes to new establishments and vice versa. Whatever I might think I knew was merely an introduction to More if I was willing to consider the possible.
In the quietness of the morning after, I realize I have more because of their voices and insights. It is an awakening that in saying less I receive more. I find myself in a new day aware of an old truth. Help has many faces. One of the strongest one can have is that of simply being present. Hearing, embracing, and being a part of another’s life is a priceless gift.