So yesterday I’m eating breakfast by myself at the Harris Cafe. Some young folks come in and sit at the table next to me – two women and a man probably in their early twenties. And, of course, I’m listening into their conversation. And they’re funny and laughing at themselves and supportive of each other and they’ve got that energy, you know? And I find myself sitting there with a big grin on my face – just soaking in the joy.
After I’m done with my breakfast, as I get up to leave, I just have to stop and say something to these young ‘uns. So I turn to them and explain that I’m a retired high school teacher and the mother of two sons who are now all grown up – and that I’ve been missing the energy of young people. I tell them how much I’ve enjoyed their kindness to each other and their laughter. And they smile these warm, open smiles back at me, and nod their heads in understanding, and one of the women says, “Thank you!” and “You need to call your son!”
I ended up going to a movie, “Blackberry,” with my youngest son and his wife yesterday afternoon. And that was so fun! And then when I got home I called my oldest son in Australia and videochatted with him – I told him the story of meeting the three young people at the restaurant and told him I was obeying the orders of the young woman who told me to call my son. We had a wonderful chat together – and laughed and hugged each other over the phone. It was good.
And now I’m sitting here smiling and crying simultaneously. I do this a lot lately. There’s a feeling that can’t be put into a nice neat box and labeled “sad” or “happy” or “bad” or “good.” It’s deeper than all of those things. It goes beyond “bad” or “good.” It just IS.
Sitting next to those young people yesterday – soaking up their energy – was a gift for me.
-Karen Molenaar Terrell
“When the heart speaks, however simple the words, its language is always acceptable to those who have hearts.”
-Mary Baker Eddy, “Heart to “Heart” in Miscellaneous Writings