Years ago, I was in the middle of a complicated business trip, rushing for a connection in a big airport in a town where I knew no one. As I was shuffling along the moving walkway, willing the standers in front of me to lean out of the way so I could rush by, a person moving in the other direction caught my eye, and then about five seconds later, I heard my name called out, with great urgency.
It turned out to be a friend from high school, with whom I’d completely lost touch. What a joy to see someone well known, in such an unknown place! The trip was going fine, but the rush of warmth made me realize how isolated I’d been, underneath the “fine.”
I felt the same way when coming across this Mary Oliver quote the other day, part of a beautiful graffiti wall in Boston. There I was, toting my groceries home, everything just fine, when she stopped me in my tracks. How wonderful to see my old book-friend on an unexpected corner!
Dear ones, lots of life is just fine – there are things that need to be done, and most of the time we are able to do them. But these sparks remind us of what more-than-fine feels like. Sometimes we get to choose a path that’s fantastic in and of itself. But for the trips that are just-fine, or especially the ones that are much less-than-fine, let’s look around for the friends who are there with us along the way. Even when silent, even when unrecognized, even when strangers, even when books – they can help us along the way, making just-fine or not-fine into something more-than-fine.
Speaking of book-friends, our winter book list is out! Please feel free to share far and wide.