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100 Days of Gladness: Day 38

Listening for the secrets of the world

Photo: Tina Lear

He is telling her a secret.

It’s a ten-second moment between mother and son,

and I catch it, smiling, with a silenced phone.

I know that in this same moment,

the mother has muted the din of other thoughts.

Deep decisions, the ones that disrupt, unsettle, break ground.

And don’t forget the rubik’s cube of her work life

always running in the background, solving,

turning, pivoting, turning a different direction,

then back on itself, solving, ever solving.

And then, of course, the private

worries burrowed into her rib cage

somewhere, pacing, looking for rest,

seldom finding it.

But in this moment, in her mother’s ear,

there is a wide open, unencumbered place

that he whispers into, and finds

a listening. A receiving.

I caught it with my phone.

But I wondered if she caught it, too.

I mean, he is precious to her. Anyone can see that.

But does she know how precious she is to him,

to me, to the whole of life?

None of us grow unscathed.

We all carry our troubles with us.

But there are ways in which we are precious

to the world, to life. And it whispers this to us

all day, every day.

Can you hear it?


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