I was driving down the country road to my warehouse. There was a mama deer and two of the most crazy adorable doe’s walking behind her in the street. Their coats were soft brown fields peppered with the kind of white that you wish you could touch at least once in your life. I slowed the car and waited and watched as the mama deer began running towards the woods. She pranced ahead about 40 feet perhaps and at a gap in the trees—stopped cold. She turned her head and looked directly at her children, waiting. I am coming along, albeit slowly, in this large moving metal thing. And she must have been scared. But her kids just weren’t “hoofing” it the way she did. She waited until they caught up with her. Then she turned and all three bounded gracefully, once off the hardened road surface. What adjectives really are adequate to describe such a blatant instinct and concern for those we care about? And I don’t care what a scientist without heart and too much mind would say…I saw the look in that mother’s eye. It wasn’t mothering “instinct”. It was concern. She was worried. And her flight response was overcome by her concern.
I was with that all day.
Today is Monday. I wait all week for them to come back. Monday’s are the changeover days for my kids in this split custody life we live in. While they are at their Mom’s things have worked out that I never really hear from them. I have a totally different life on my weeks “off”. But I still wait for them to come back.
I ran out to go shopping today. I buy lots of things I never eat when they are with me. Since at home, I generally eat only RAW foods…when they come home I am making things I never make. Shopping felt good. Walking into the house knowing they were inside felt good, for many reasons. I love them. I always wanted to be a stay at home Dad…which I was for a long time before the divorce. But a phrase was waiting for me as I climbed the steps on the front porch.
“I have someone to care for”
In roundabout ways I have been flirting with this for weeks and it finally crystallized into that phrase.
Having the opportunity…having the chance to care for another person’s welfare, safety and peace is so crucial to our wholeness. It doesn’t matter if you do this with children or with friends or other relatives or strangers or with animals…just that it is done somehow. But I have been with what is missing in the lives of so many that suffer. And unerringly, it is when they are no longer in a position to give. We all naturally want to give to one another. We all desire to care for one another…or at least for one or a few others. It is like dark and light, yin and yang, up and down. Receive and Care For. I didn’t say receive and “give”. Because giving is different to me. You can give something to someone but that isn’t the same as spending time with them, looking them in the eye.
Living without having someone to care for is an imbalanced state.
Living without having someone to care for you is an imbalanced state.
We can feel the wrong of it. No matter how content a person is certain they are going it alone…you can feel inherently something is amiss. We see the proof of it in our world every single day. The way someone becomes uncaring, is through example. How do they do it differently when there is so much indifference around them? Who will show people that someone cares for them? Who can turn back the clock in their heart to when caring ended and surviving began? And if no one ever does, how does one recall what being genuinely cared for feels like? How will they know that lackluster affection isn’t gold…when they haven’t held gold in so very long?
People need to know that they are worth someone else’s care.
People need to know that their care, is worth giving to others.
One learns by being brave enough to love the stranger. The act of showing up for someone else, turns you into a healer. Simple love and kindness changes the world….just as the opposite changes the world. It can be so easy to do. Pick any random person and just look them in the eye and say “HELLO…How are you today?” And wait for their answer. Smile at someone. Make the lonely neighbor a cake. The world we live in does not have to be as insular as we have trusted it is. It only is this way, as long as the majority behaves this way. And so if you have been part of that majority, help turn the minority into the new majority.
I see a world where everyone looks out for one another. Be the mama deer for another or for many. Watch them look over their shoulders to help others, once they’ve been shown how.
Is it really this simple? Hell no. We would have done it long ago if it was. But is it realistic? Yes.
Being at home with my kids…having them to care about is so heavenly. It completes something inside of me many times over. Being a Dad is so much what I came here to do. Has caring for them been easy? No. Loving them has been easy. Caring for them is the application of Love in trying circumstances. ”Care” is what shows up as grace when things become awful. ”Care” is what comes out of us, when we try harder than anything to make our love manifest into kindness under siege.
And harmony is what we experience, in those moments when it is all being untested…just resting with those we care about and those who care about us.