Things are getting weird around me. At first there were a few isolated incidences, but enough of them have accumulated that I’m starting to notice a trend. I think something might be amuck.
Consider a small sampling –
At a birthday party, a mother from my daughter’s kindergarten class confided in me about her divorce. I barely know her. In fact, I’ve always dismissed her as kinda crazy. But she seemed to need someone to just listen, so I did. I learned that aside from being smart and strong-minded, she’s actually pretty cool.
My next door neighbor is recovering from an illness and is pretty weak. In an unusual move, I offered to walk her dog. I don’t like dogs, especially hers. It barks and jumps and pees on my daylilies. But she said yes, and so now every afternoon, the beast and I troll the neighborhood. I haven’t miraculously turned into a dog-person or anything, but I have to admit, it’s been kind of nice.
Then there’s this perennial bed near the elementary school that has been neglected for at least ten years. It’s an overgrown mess. For some reason, after walking the beast, I decided I couldn’t look at it any more. I packed my wheel barrel with a spade, rake and pruners and spent the next three afternoons clearing debris, pruning rosebushes and pulling out thistle.
Finally, after years of my piano gathering dust, I’ve started playing again. I remember my mom playing Moonlight Sonata, and now I find myself playing it while my girls do their homework. Sometimes my youngest will wander over and sit by me while I play.
These are all small things with nothing particularly strange about them. But strung together, I’ve felt an awareness that something within me is deepening. I know that when you do things for others, you feel better yourself. But this is more than that. It’s like my days are taking on a sort of richness. Previously empty spaces are filling in with new friends, rosebushes and Beethoven.
Of course, I can’t escape being me. I’m still self-involved, cranky and whiny (see post below). But something is subtly shifting. I don’t want to get all crazy and claim to be happy. But lately, I’ve had glimpses…