I used to be naive about many things in life. I thought love was something I had to earn and search for. I would often concentrate my efforts on mirages. From a distance things seemed lush and I gravitated to the idea of quenching my thirst. I could be standing in a puddle but what I saw in the distance was where I thought happiness resided. Sometimes love finds us when we don’t even know we are looking. Other times it seems buried deep in the sand and we are without a shovel. We think we know the spot it is buried and flail away with both hands to uncover it. At times I have thought that the kind which is buried is more valuable because I have to work for it.
We often guard our secret gardens because none of us lives without the memory of some heartache. The usual result is atrophy. We rarely admit anyone for fear they will trample what is the core of who we are. As a result we have no one to help us care for our garden. Some things wither and others grow uncontrollably but the real loss is not having someone to witness its beauty. Our garden is useless unless we allow others to walk within it.
In some ways life is like being on a train. We don’t always choose who our fellow travelers are and it can be a relief to see some disembark. Others have the same destination; they can be family and friends or acquaintances and loves. At each station there are some who transfer with a different destination in mind. Seldom are we alone in the boxcar and many of us are fortunate to have many accompany us on our journey. I sometimes find myself looking at the stations we pull into and wondering if it wouldn’t be better to disembark. What do these people know that I do not? Is their path possibly the one I should be on? Where I find myself is always where I am supposed to be. It can be a place of suffering or of ecstasy. Without the one the other loses its meaning.
The importance of our gardens and our travels is that we share them. We can choose some of the individuals that accompany us but others are not meant to be a choice. They are a gift. We do not shop for our own gifts, they are simply meant to be graciously accepted. Sometimes we have no clue as to the worth of a gift. Sometimes we find little value in something so freely given. Sometimes it is difficult to recognize that we have been given more than we would have the audacity to ask for.
When the coat is thrown down in the puddle for us to walk on it does not mean the coat is worthless. It means the wearer finds more value in the steps you take than you possibly do.