so much of my work has been on being present with my pain. hearing its knock. inviting it inside. offering it a seat. and some tea. sitting in silence near it. with it. speaking to it. listening. letting it teach me.
it’s almost as if i got too good at being present with pain. too intent on keeping eye contact with it. too focused on hearing every last word, that even the silence — the waiting — was too loud for me to hear another knock.
but my son has learned to open doors. and he hears joy. he hears joy so loudly and easily that he comes running. shaking even. when her presence is near.
like meeting an old friend at the mouth of the river.
he opens the door. collides into her and his laughter bubbles over. i am not as in tune to her presence as he is.
but i am in tune to him. and his presence is enough for me to break eye contact with pain. and his presence is enough to invite me to see joy. to feel. taste. experience. her.
and before i even catch myself, we are dancing around the dining room table.
me. my son. maracas and tambourines in our hands.
joy. and pain.
because if i know that i know that pain is a great teacher. then i must have faith enough to believe that joy is too.
because my son — my son has taught me that joy and pain are traveling partners. never going anywhere without one another.
so come in, old friends. sit down. have some tea. you can make yourself at home.