Saturday, January 31, 2009

teacher or student?

it's so funny how people show up when you least expect them, even people from a hundred years ago...and the gap that may have been all those years suddenly disappears. like you just talked to her last week, not a hundred years ago. ya know?

well, something like that is going on right now. she's a gal i knew wayyyyyy back when, i think the 5th grade or some crazy thing. we lived on the same part of town, and hung out for most of our school years. left there was i was 18....she stayed. didn't have any contact with her until about a month ago, when she found me on facebook (that is one crazy network!). so, we began chatting, mostly by phone, just kind of catching up & visiting with each other. she lives on the other side of the country, so a face-to-face is kinda out of the question at the moment. no matter.

so last night, we had a chat and then she decided it was time for bed. we hung up & i was feeling pretty good about our conversation, even though i sensed something was amiss with her. apparently, she just wasn't ready to tell her secrets, so i didn't ask. about an hour later, the phone rang again...& there she was. it was pretty late (in her time zone) so i thought maybe something was wrong. picked up the phone & listened as she slowly began to let out some of those secrets...a little at a time.
i listened.

soon after, she again decided to hang up & head to bed. the moment i hung up the phone, i was completely washed in enormous gratitude. even better, enormous appreciation. for sooooooooooo many things that are my life.

for the calm that has made it's way to me. for the people who love me. for the roads i've traveled & the places i've been & the many fantastic experiences that have made up my life so far. but mostly, for the love of self i've managed to regain again. i have so much to be grateful for...and sometimes it takes other people showing up to help you see all that. sometimes, just hearing the angst or the fear or the utter misery in another's voice is about as helpful as reading all those books. not that i wish her to be miserable. that's not what i mean. it's just that she has so much that she also can be grateful for....& she doesn't see that yet.

she thinks i'm "wise". she asks me often, "how did you get so wise?". i don't really know how to respond to i usually just laugh & say, "well, i've been paying attention is all." what can i say?

i'm not sure if i'm the teacher here, or she is. i don't know who's learning what from who. but i do know that it makes me feel really good to help, when i can...and to see so clearly just how many treasures i've gathered along the way.

student or teacher?

does it really matter?

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