Today around noon…I went for a run. It’s been a couple of weeks since I’ve been able to…struggling with an injury to my calf sustained…not by running, dancing, playing or anything wild and crazy like that.. No! I got a strained calf from…of all things…wearing high heels.
The sun was bright and the humidity of summer that had gone on vacation for a few days was boldy shouting out another “I’m here” as the door slammed behind me on my way out.
I love to run. The solace. The quiet. The offering of myself to the movement, the air around me and the path ahead. Somewhere on that run today I tossed up a request…send me something today. I’m having a tough go of it lately and could use some comfort…send me a little something that will say “I’m here” and I will know why and breathe it in.
About four this afternoon, I received a phone call from a friend…someone who doesn’t typically land on the W&F side…that would be warm and fuzzy…someone who has actually described himself as steely and stubborn. “I wanted to read this to you, because it reminded me of you.” I prepared for some launch into the more classic “you can do this” or “get up and get going” kind of diatribe…when he started into this.
“It doesn’t interest me what you do for a living. I want to know what you ache for, and if you dare to dream of meeting your heart’s longing.”
It took only these first few words to reveal the “I’m here”…the words I had asked for during my run were coming in through the front door, carried in by the least likely of messengers.
“It doesn’t interest me how old you are. I want to know if you will risk looking like a fool for love, for your dream, for the adventure of being alive.
It doesn’t interest me what planets are squaring your moon. I want to know if you have touched the center of your own sorrow, if you have been opened by life’s betrayals or have become shriveled and closed from fear of further pain! I want to know if you can sit with pain, mine or your own, without moving to hide it or fade it, or fix it.
I want to know if you can be with joy, mine or your own, if you can dance with wildness and let the ecstasy fill you to the tips of your fingers and toes without cautioning us to be careful, to be realistic, to remember the limitations of being human.
It doesn’t interest me if the story you are telling me is true. I want to know if you can disappoint another to be true to yourself; if you can bear the accusation of betrayal and not betray your own soul; if you can be faithless and therefore trustworthy.
I want to know if you can see beauty even when it’s not pretty, every day and if you can source your own life from its presence.
It doesn’t interest me to know where you live or how much money you have. I want to know if you can get up, after the night of grief and despair, weary and bruised to the bone, and do what needs to be done to feed the children.I want to know if you can live with failure, yours and mine, and still stand on the edge of the lake and shout to the silver of the full moon, “Yes!”
It doesn’t interest me who you know or how you came to be here. I want to know if you will stand in the center of the fire with me and not shrink back.
It doesn’t interest me where or what or with whom you have studied. I want to know what sustains you, from the inside, when all else falls away.
I want to know if you can be alone with yourself and if you truly like the company you keep in the empty moments.
Oriah Mountain Dreamer
Wonder if maybe you…yep the one who made it to the very end of this essay and is grateful you did, might have asked for an unlikely messenger to bring this message in from the heat and humidity to refresh, invigorate and remind…because you, needed it, requested it. You opened the door and let it in.