I stepped outside, though. I had to get to work. And there was nothing you could do, but get wet. Why was it happening that morning? Any morning? I didn’t know. I’m sure there’s some meterological reasoning you could pull out if you asked your local Don Webster (former channel 5 Cleveland weatherman of my youth). But, when you’re in it, when the water poured down and somehow found its way through the armor of your umbrella, you did not have time to question. In fact, it was so ridiculous, everyone getting soaked, no matter their shielding, that you had to laugh-or clench your fists and gut and scream, “Why?!”
Really, though, you had to laugh. Partially because all that clenching was just an early prescription for future ulcers and partially because the whole thing was just so ridiculous.
We were fish, for a moment. Fish with umbrellas and lungs, but underwater, just the same. And we were going to work or to school or to the store for something.
So, I dodged the deep of puddles and walked beneath the awnings until I reached the steps of the subway and trotted down. And there, rising up as I came down, to shelter me like an umbrella, came the sound of my favorite busker and his acoustic guitar. And Ruth and I had both agreed. We had said it at the same time, even. And we had meant the same meaning. His voice was haunting. And not haunting in the spooky sense. Haunting in the beautifully mysterious sense. Like he had found some secret cove of complete peace and was sending his voice up to let us all know he was okay. Maybe let us know that we would all be okay, too. And his voice met me at the bottom of the rainy steps on Tuesday.
He was singing Besame Mucho. And it all felt very warm. Very right.
Even when the train came recklessly roaring down the tracks, it felt as if it was beckoned there by the busker’s song. I boarded and wondered what came next.
And what came next, arrived at the next stop.
A mother and her daughter stepped in the packed car. They were close enough for me to hear their conversation. And it was one you do not expect to hear on a train or out anywhere in the general public, for that matter. But, it had been bottled up too long. That much was obvious.
The mother said, “I know that you’re angry at me. But, it’s not my fault.”
And what was not her fault became obvious when she said, “Remember the yelling? Remember the hitting? I’m sorry. But, things had to change.” And the girl tried to counter with, “But you were hitting, too.” It was an odd response. And her mother said simply, “Now, you know that’s not true.” And you could tell the little girl knew, even at the moment when she first uttered the phrase, that the words were not true. It had been a last ditch attempt to make a bridge, to even the sides, and make it the same again.
And it’s hard to explain to someone so small who feels so big. Because sometimes all there is to understand is that things have changed. That it is different now. Flat and simple. It had once made sense. But, how do you explain to someone so small who feels so big that there was love? That there is love? It’s just different now. And you could feel the tension. The hurt from both parties.
And I wanted to say something to the girl. Because it’s important for her to understand that it’s okay for her not to understand. The world changes. And it’s not your fault. It’s not your Mom’s fault and you can trace things back to reasons why it’s not your Dad’s fault. It’s not even the world’s fault. The world changes because it must.
Out of the train and above the ground, it might have been raining or it might have stopped by then. But, why? I did not know. Of course, there was Don Webster with the technicalities. But, that’s not the answer you’re looking for, is it?
The heart is followed in the beginning and it must be followed even when it’s signaling in the end. That is all there is. That is all we have to go by. And that leaves you not knowing sometimes. And it’s okay. It’s good to know that sometimes you just do not know. Of course, it’s great to keep trying to know, too. To keep searching. Because it is in us to know. Even when we do not know. So, ask the questions you need to ask. And I pray that you understand someday that answers often do not come in words.
The world will change. The world will get bigger. And, as big as you feel you are now, you too, will get bigger. And on the days when you feel the changes so daunting-when you can see, smell, taste, and feel the changes spiraling out of control into somewhere you’ve never been-it is important to hold tight. So important to be patient and listen.
We’re all carving through worlds unknown.
Can you hear it?
That haunting voice?
Bouncing off the halls of underground tracks, through the dripping of three day held rain, it followed you.
And you do not need to know. You need only feel that it’s going to be okay.
Originally Posted On Facebook.