Saturday, September 13, 2014

Generosity, Baby!

Babies are big blobs of give.  I once watched a mother snuggling and kissing her four-month-old son for many minutes, and was astonished when the baby attempted to kiss her back! Infants are born bundles of Love, and only release it gradually, as the world ruptures their sense of security.

The other day I was in my favorite local consignment store, more for respite from the searing late summer heat than for shopping, and a 16-month-old girl was toddling around the racks of clothes, shoes and knickknacks having the time of her life. One customer commented wryly, "If only she were happier!"

At one point I tried on a shoe that was too small, and as I put it back on a shelf exactly at the toddler's height, she grasped it and offered it to me. The generosity and joy of that baby uplifted everyone in the store.

I was musing, here on the far side of a half-century, that we tend to "age up": that is, many older people are open to association with those younger than them, though it doesn't necessarily work in reverse. I am invisible to most teens and early 20-somethings; I'm simply too far from their age and worldview to be acknowledgeable, and I understand this. However, given the nature of who I am, the fact that I never had children of my own, and that I will talk with almost anyone, any time, I do have a lot of contact with people in all decades of life. This is enriching. I also learn a great deal.

The other evening I told a new deli worker at a local food co-op that he looked like actor Ray Liotta — thirty years ago. I asked if people said he looked like anyone famous and he mentioned Leonardo DiCaprio, whom I still think of as 23 but who is actually closing in on 40. The deli worker told me he's 27. From there our conversation evolved to the years he spent in Hollywood (though not to become an actor!), to what it's like to spend time in New York City, to his recent relocation to my area. It developed he's also an avid reader and budding writer, and we ranged far afield about genres and what we learn from books. I shared how a pivotal message during my awakening journey came from a novel: the protagonist is a young man itching to quit his magazine job and write full-time, which, he tells his best friend, he'll do "once he's saved up more security" — meaning, of course, money. His buddy wisely responds, "Security isn't something you save up. It's what you find when you take risks." I still get goosebumps relating this.

Then my very cool new pal and I connected over the awareness that the days of the week are named for the five visible planets, plus the sun and moon. You can "hear" this much better in the Romance languages than in English, and since he's bilingual in English and Spanish, and I speak some French and rudimentary Spanish, we went back and forth, delightedly naming each day in three languages. Other customers occasionally joined our meandering conversation.

When I left the store my energy was elevated, probably akin to how the 16-month-old darling I'd met earlier feels most of the time. It's radically wonderful to live this way, and becoming easier all the time as we awaken en masse at Light speed.

Reach out in the most unlikely places, to the most unusual faces. Once you scratch the surface, you'll discover commonalities you never dreamed were there. At heart, we're all One, pure Love awaiting expression. Pass it on, baby.

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