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Dumplings and the Universe

Updated: Nov 20, 2022

My school closed the other day.

I work at a school. I teach kids about their feelings and I tie their tiny shoes at recess. I brought my books home in a cardboard box. I kept the box nearby for a day like last Thursday. A day where I would need a cardboard box.

I'm that kind of person now. A person with an evacuation plan. We're all kind of like that now I guess. Jumping over the line and wondering how far we can venture out into the world before we hit some consequences. Carrying with us the thought of the nearest exit in case we need to leave it all at a moment's notice. It's hard to know how to engage with life in this way. How to fully commit after wandering through the strange and hazy seasons that measured up to make today. I hope your life is not empty, dear friend. I hope you have someone that looks out for you. The questions in my mind bubble up like the simmer in the chicken and dumplings in front of me. I stir through the ponder. The "what's" and the "how's" and the wonders spill over and I reach for the knob to turn the temperature down. You must know that I think of you often. Especially when I'm in the passenger seat of a car, or a train, or a bus. I think about you as the sky turns dark and the stars come out. I squish my face to the glass like a child on a long road trip. Gaping at the universe as the trees whir by. My heart stretches to wonder about the quiet towns I pass. Through streets I will never walk. The strangers in their houses that I will never meet. I imagine them in their kitchen windows. scrubbing dishes and carrying their humanity. Would they look out into the night as I passed down the road? We could share a moment and not even know it. These are the gossamer thin veils that pull on down between us. These are the moments that skate past each other in a mysterious whisper. We are absolutely made of this stuff. And yet we do not fully understand.

I wonder about the strength of your heart and the hope in your conviction. The things that you want and the fears that you carry. The dreams that bolster you in the slight and quiet moments. I hope you have a warm blanket or cup of tea. That's what usually helps me. I hope someone calls you on the phone tonight to remind you of an old story. The kind of story brought to life from a faded scrapbook page. The kind that reanimates with laughter long forgotten. I imagine that you would listen to the voice on the other end of the line. A welcome voice across the time and distance.

In the light.

Within the dark.

As it holds us now. In the sacred space between questions and dumplings and the rain outside. Take care of yourself. Come back real soon.

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