Soul in the World
During the month of May a pair of wrens created their home on the veranda of the retreat house. I watched as they carefully chose moss, straw and horse hair to create a soft and sturdy nest for their young. Eventually, I saw several tiny blue eggs appear in the nest. The wrens took turns sitting on the nest, weathering high winds and harsh storms in their lofty haven. The day after Mother's Day, the eggs hatched. Over the next two weeks we watched as the baby birds grew, squawked, fluffed and were fed almost constantly! On the day after my son's graduation, we gathered for a family meal and celebration. It was apparent that the birds were outgrowing their nest. We witnessed two of them plop out onto the rafter and realized that there were five baby birds in all!.It wouldn't be much longer and it would be time to leave. After taking my son and his dad to the airport two days later, I returned to find the last two birds perched on the rafter. They took flight as I arrived and I could see the others flying around in the trees. My heart ached. Sadness overwhelmed me. I sat and I cried. My last child was done school and had flown off for the summer. I was happy for him. This was a good thing. I started to dry off my tears and then something hit me, hit me hard. I not only needed to allow myself to cry, but to weep. I wept for my children having grown, my mother having died, all of the losses I've had in my life. I wept for others who have lost children, parents, family, friends.... for lost relationships and missed opportunities. I felt like I might not be able to pull myself out of this place of weeping, but I trusted that if it's a place I was going, I would not be alone there. I came back with an immense sense of calm and connectedness to life. I understood how our capacity to experience suffering enables us to fully experience joy. I believe that crying is an expression of human sadness, but weeping is an expression of soul.