Sometimes I think about how much time I spend just sitting in my body, nice and quiet, not doing anything, and how much time I spend putting energy out into the world, reaching towards people, expressing something of value in their direction. I like both.
Yesterday, I wanted to sit in London’s Victoria Park before going to a movie. I also wanted ice cream. The Marble Slab Creamery is the most decadent place. I ordered up a waffle cone full of sweet cream (not vanilla), Smarties (a good old Canadian chocolate yummy), Crispy Crunch (more chocolaty goodness) and peanut bits. And onto a park bench I plunked. No reaching out, just putting in. Upon completion of consumption, I wandered over to the bandshell, where about 30 women in long gingham dresses were lined up, in front of young men in white shirts. Nothing was happening. They were just standing there, with a man in a black suit facing them.
The conductor then raised his arms. The choir raised their hymn books and a lovely sound came forth. Expression. These folks were Mennonites and favoured the audience with several hymns, including “Amazing Grace”, a favourite of mine. None of the men and women smiled but the tones were pure. Their expression reached me. And I was glad to hear them.
Afterwards a young Mennonite fellow approached and invited me to come out to his church. We talked, sending a gentle energy to each other. I wanted to keep the dialogue going even though our spiritual perspectives differed. To express with love is a blessing.
Back at home, I thought of the many kind expressions that we human beings give each other: smiling, dancing, speaking, holding hands, hugging, laughing … So many. I thought back to my teaching days, and the type of child that I worried about. It wasn’t the rough-around-the-edges kid who might yell and swear. It was the boy or girl who wouldn’t say boo, who wouldn’t show me anything of the Spirit inside. I hope they’ve all found their way and are reaching out to their fellow beings every day. The world needs them. The world needs us all.