Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Comfort and Healing.



As I sat today in my office (Starbucks), regrouping at an early hour after being discounted and discarded again, I suddenly had a moment. You know those times when you see something that you know will stay with you long after seemingly more important thoughts have escaped your mind?

She sat quietly, her sleeping son comfortably and obliviously sprawled, and she read. Occasionally she would raise her head to greet a friend, or to approve of happenings closeby, always greeting each with a smile. To see them made me feel uncomfortable at first, knowing it rude to stare. But as I sat at a distance and stole the occasional glance, their level of comfort and contentment seemed to permeate the room.

Questions came to me steadily...how does she get him to sleep, in a house of caffeine and bustle, at such an early hour? For that matter, how does she manage a public place with a three year old, and still seem so happy??!! Ultimately, I felt emotionally pulled into this scene.

And so, I interrupted.

I apologized, and introduced myself, and tried to explain why I was intruding on her perfect scene...trying desperately to alleviate any fears she might have about my intentions. And as if to perfect the entire experience, she understood. She asked what I did, and as soon as I shared with her my daily responsibilities outside of being the creepy guy in the coffee shop, she said something that will stay with me for a long time.

"Mother and child heals all."

She fully understood. She understood the picture she was sitting in, she understood her role in it, and amazingly, she understood why it would affect someone who saw.

My extended family has had a tough time recently. The toughest of times. Emotionally draining, crushing doubts about life and faith. I, for one, am in a place far worse than ever in terms of my own beliefs. And yet, in the midst of it all, sat this woman and her child. And I know she had no idea, but she gave me some peace, right then.

I asked her permission to share her scene with you, the reader, and she allowed me to take her picture. I never asked her name, but if she reads this, I hope she understands how the simplicity of happiness and comfort, a postcard scene of mother and child, helped me even just a little.

And as I thanked her, she smiled again, and said, "God Bless You".

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15 comments:

Beadiful Things said...

Earth Mothers. They're so dang serene. How do they do that?

Oregon Elkhorns said...

Jay, thank you for the insights and simplicity you bring to such a chaotic vortex we call life. We ( Colleen & I ) have truly enjoyed your views and halftime lessons. Be well & keep the pearls of learned wisdon flowing.

Deb Williams said...

I liked your original post better. This one just makes me feel inadequate and mean. But at least somebody out there is doing things right.

Jay and Kat said...

lol tell me about it...as I talked with this woman, all I could think was..."Wow...I suck!!!"

Shauna said...

That is a great picture. I would love to get my 3 year old to sleep in quiet room - more/less a coffee shop. Anyhow - this was beautifully written - especially considering that your comment prior to this one is "Wow...I suck!!"

:)

Thanks for visiting my blog by the way!

LiteralDan said...

Depending on the quality level of the photo, you should print and frame it, at least for your own house. It's very serene.

Jay and Kat said...

Thats a great idea, Dan, I just have to sell my wife on putting up pictures of other women in our home!
;-)

Kristen Zirkle said...

Are you sure this was in the metroplex? We need more earth mothers in this world. Can she cuddle me? I have had a crappy day.

Jennifer, Playgroups Are No Place For Children said...

What a lovely post!

Suz Broughton said...

Nicely written and I love the picture. I love stories about little moments. This one was beautiful.
Thanks for the note: I'll be back.

Colleen said...

Wonderful post. The photo wonderfully captures it all beautifully.

Thanks for checking in at my blog! I'll make sure to check back in with you too.

Dawn said...

Great post and a great picture.

The Family Julz said...

So glad I stumbled upon this. So lovely! Well done!

MLC's Mom said...

GREAT srory WONDERFUL picture..I enjoy your blog. I think I am going to stop by more often :o)

L said...

beautiful...thank you for sharing this moment, especially in a world of constant movement, chaos, and anxiety.

with love from pittsburgh...

posthumous pointer
To laugh often and love much; to win the respect of intelligent persons and the affection of children; to earn the approbation of honest citizens and endure the betrayal of false friends; to appreciate beauty; to find the best in others; to give of one's self; to leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch or a redeemed social condition; to have played and laughed with enthusiasm and sung with exultation; to know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived - this is to have succeeded. - Emerson