Black or white is how I sometimes perceive an incoming remark. One such example follows. A few weeks ago I called a friend while driving. A short time into our chitchat she asked if I was driving and I said, ‘No’.

Nearing the end of our talk I admitted to having been driving the entire time. She called me a liar, said she wouldn’t speak with me again, and hung up.

Did it occur to me to apologize for lying? No.

I was troubled by her comment as we’d been friends for many years. As a fact, she had been more of a mother, than a friend. In a few days I had accepted her choice not to communicate again. No more contact, period.

Little did I know at the time, but her action was the catalyst for my growth and a new phase of our relating.

A week later while walking in the woods with my dog Kaia, I had a sudden sensation of heartfelt boundless joy. The trees, earth, sky, Kaia and the blades of grass she nipped at all moved in a slow continuous and flowing dance. I experienced a freedom like never before. I laughed and cried and laughed some more. Similar experiences have since come my way.

A month later my friend called and asked what was going on in my life. I was stunned to hear her voice and mentioned what she had said about never talking again, just weeks earlier.

She said, ‘Oh, you were talking and driving. That’s dangerous and I love you. Please don’t do that again. So, what is going on with you?

These days we call each other as caring friends. I don’t expect anything from her and nor do I see her as being my mother. This new way of relating is much more authentic for me.

A seemingly small event may have unexpected and life changing consequences.

*****

Making Choices

I experience horrific scenarios of killing, pain and torture many years after having served in the military. I sometimes find myself on that train, going along for a ride of vivid snapshots and live action movies that contort my face, restrict my breath and leave me shaken when I snap out of it.

When I closely examine the environment I live in and the signposts I have followed, it may be time to nourish the plants that bear love of life and uproot those that support the destruction of it.