Updated: Jul 20, 2021
It's not hard to tell who meditates a lot, who prays a lot, who grieves a lot or who fears a lot. If you pay attention, you can see everything in people's eyes. The lamp is lit and gives off it's light thru the eyes. The more you pay attention to it the more obvious it becomes. I'll admit I judge people based on what their light looks & feels like to me. People who meditate a lot can hold your gaze, as radiance dances with depth. Some people's light is dim, and some people cover their eyes with shades so you can't see what's in there. Usually the same people who wear hats that say things like "no fear".
When I walked into the UPS store this morning, and greeted the woman behind the counter, I was struck by the depth in her eyes. I made small talk with her while waiting for the machine. My small talk sounds like, "so, how ARE you?" Her mouth said one thing but the eyes said something different, so I asked, "what's going on?" and then the eyes got cloudy, then water came. "My husband just left me", she said. "Right before Valentines Day, and it was our anniversary".
Now she's standing there crying and I understood why her eyes were so deep and murky. She's been meditating on sadness and fear. Everywhere she goes is the temple. Right now the UPS store is the meditation hall and "why?" is the mantra.
I made a sad face and told her how sorry I was, which prompted her to try and rescue me from having a feeling. "Oh, I guess only time can heal it", she said. But we know that's not really true. That's just what you say to pass thru the time when time hurts like pins & needles in the soul.
I told her, "Your faith will help you pass thru this. And surrounding yourself with supportive people, loving family and friends. Do you have that?" She smiled and talked about how good people have been to her. I encouraged her best as I could, mostly just feeling sad for this sweet woman.
Then I shared with her something I heard a priest say when I was 8 years old. I don't know why this made such an impression on me, but I passed it on some 50 years later: "if you could imagine the sound a seed makes that very moment when it is cracking thru the shell and coming into life, it would sound like a scream." I reminded her she is the life and this situation is the shell. I was hoping maybe she'd take on a new mantra after that.
I said goodbye and turned to leave, and she stopped me. She came out from behind the counter and wrapped her arms around me and we stood there hugging like old friends for about 2 full minutes. That hug melted her broken shells and my own screams. We stood hugging and became a garden.