You can’t make up this stuff.
One day, a few Septembers ago, when I worked a couple days a week behind the desk of an RV Park, where I was often amazed and puzzled, saddened or simply weary of the things people said to me (captive as I was) I jotted down their remarks as soon as they turned to leave; opening statement only. Without finishing the conversations than ensued, you get the gist. Without filter or embellishment, this represents a couple hours of what filled the page, each line a different guest:
I don’t mean to complain but you moved me for the second time.
We had two dogs but our poodle died.
We need to be gone for five days. My wife’s sister died unexpectedly.
Do you have a phone book? I need urgent care for our traumatized dog.
I was hit by a semi-truck shortly after my husband died.
I will only be here a few months. My wife and I can’t get along and she needs space so I’ll live in the RV for that time.
There’s a puddle outside my door.
The lights at the back clubhouse aren’t working.
Did you hear 13 people were killed at a Navy shipyard in D.C.?
Why can’t I park here?
I hope I’m not interrupting your lunch.
I don’t like that site – I want a back-in.
The bushes creep me out at night. I want a pull-through.
Can’t you give me the hat for $5.00?
Our first trip with the RV and the air leaks and the stove doesn’t work.
We’re exhausted. Can we just get a place that’s close?
There were endless upcoming surgeries I was told about. There were traffic nightmares. There were compliments. There were complaints. Some days were crazier than others.
Being empathic, I would often literally feel compressed by the end of a day at that desk.
Nature was my solace and silence was my tonic.
I’d go to the gardens nearby. I’d go to the seashore.
Mother Teresa said,
“See how nature,
trees, flowers, grass,
grows in silence.
See the stars, the moon, the sun,
how they move in silence.”
Mother Teresa certainly knew people. Tended their suffering, was surrounded by throngs of people, all with needs and some with love. That’s part of all of our lives. But I love that she appreciated the silence and peace of nature. Its energy is healing.
I know that dotted throughout our planet there are still frontiers. Not places to be developed, claimed or improved, paved and civilized, but places to stand or sit or lie on your back and breathe slowly. These places are medicinal to our soul.
These places, these moments, these spaces of light and clear air are essential. I love these scenes of silence.
When I would go to the gardens, to the forest, to the seashore: I would often leave them walking backwards, not only to retain the quintessential feeling of peace, but to be sure, as I departed, that I not only retained the essence in my mind, but also with a reverent hope to leave the energy of these spaces undisturbed.