We were in transit. The waiting time was 5 hours before the last flight home. We were sipping hot tea and munching on chocolate chip cookies in the only pseudo restaurant in terminal 3. My son, just 6 at that time, whispered,
»Mommy, that man is sad. »
Across the room, sitting in the corner, a man was sipping his coffee alone. My son was right, there was sadness. My heart wanted to reply to my son’s observation,
»Yes sweetie, sadness is part of our human experience and an essential doorway we must open to uncover the road back home. »
Instead, I rattled off some logical explanation that just because someone is alone doesn’t necessarily mean they are feeling sad.
Halfway through my monologue, in which I hardly believed myself, my son got up and walked over to the man sipping his coffee in the far corner of the restaurant. I swallowed the last bit of my cookie and hurried over to my son who had already caught the man’s attention. Something happened within that moment that could be felt across the globe and something that I was blessed to witness and experience. Looking up into the man’s eyes, my son innocently asked,
»Why are you sad? »
Caught off guard and before protective walls of resistance could be built by the mind, the man’s heart cracked wide open. Not a word was said but so much was felt. We met in the rawness of exposed truth, something so profound and inconceivable by the mind. The meeting of exposed, unprotected hearts in a place of love, understanding and acceptance for his human vulnerability, and ours.
You enter this world alone and alone you will leave with your last breath. Tribal in nature and in need of connection for your survival and your personal growth, your journey is in fact, a solitary quest. Between and within those moments of connectedness with friends and loved ones will be the raw experience of loneliness that can’t be filled by others or things. It can feel uncomfortable and scary because you rarely let yourself feel its presence and yet, the allowing opens a door so wide into the kingdom of your heart that holds that memory of the fullness that you truly are.