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Sunday, April 22, 2012

Ask and Receive

I, looking for a space, perused the crowded lot.
He, sitting on the curb, held a tattered sign.
I wore slacks, pressed and clean.
He wore jeans, torn and greased.
I was running errands.
He was feeling hungry.
I had limited cash.
He had less than that.
I asked, “Would you like a burger?”
He answered, “Yes, I would.”
I inquired, “Fries with it?”
He replied, “I won’t eat them.”
I promised, “I’ll be right back.”
He requested, “I’d like sweet tea.” 
I headed to BK.
He waited for me.
I delivered to him.
He smiled at me.
I had slipped a buck in the bag before I returned.
He had slipped it in his pocket after I left.
I watched from my rearview mirror.
He ate while traffic moved forward.
I ran my errands, headed for home,
          and thought of him.
He asked directly for what he wanted, accepted nothing less,
          and was given something more.
I bought him lunch.
He taught me well.

Be enlightened!  ~ M

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Some Things Never Change

“But I don’t wanna sit in there with them!” I whined.

“We don’t have enough chairs for you to sit in here with us!” Mom would declare.

When I was an adolescent, I yearned to sit at the adult table for holiday dinners. As the eldest among the children, I felt a lack of placement. I hovered on the threshold between childhood and maturity. Surely, I was too beyond my years to partake in the juvenile antics of my younger sisters and foolish cousins as they carried on in the kitchen. Yet, I was still too precious for subjection to the crassness of parental discourse among grandparents, aunts, and uncles in the dining room. I did not belong in either world. Three decades later, I still feel like I do not quite fit in any particular setting.

“Well, she hit me first!” I attempted to defend my action.

“But you’re older; you should know better!” Dad would bellow.

I never could figure out where that invisible boundary between self-assertion and forgiveness was drawn. And I have learned that age has nothing to do with finding it. As a middle-aged woman, I still sometimes want to lash out in retaliation for some wrong I feel was inflicted upon me, even though I know better.

It’s funny how some things never change. The miracle is that my reaction to those things can. I do not have to insist upon any particular placement within the Universe. It is enough to know I will be fed, no matter where I sit. I do not have to keep track of wrongs suffered. I can walk away knowing that the karmic law of sowing and reaping ever operates.

It’s funny how my flesh never seems to grow up, only older. Yet my spirit, ever wise, remains in steadfast perfection. That is something that will never change.

Be enlightened!  ~ M