I recently read a book that was dedicated to “the memory of my father for things left unsaid.” I thought of my own father, passed away nearly forty years now. He was here one day, gone the next and I never had the chance to tell him in life what he meant to me. I have since resolved that with his spirit, but it took a long time and much writing.
It was a lesson well learned; one that taught me to share my kind sentiments to those that I care about in the living years. If I want peace, it has to begin with me. That practice has cleared my heart of guilt, sadness, regret, leaving room for only joy. More comfortable with the written word, I prefer to do this through cards, notes, prose and poetry. Recently I have become adept at expressing myself verbally as well. I have now spoken all of my unspoken words. At times they came out awkwardly, but they have all been said in truth to whom I needed to say them. Most have been returned in a courteous fashion, some were met with surprise and a few with the stinging rejection of the silent treatment.
It hurts when I experience this “silent treatment” or see it being demonstrated between adults. There are so many words to express kindness in our vocabulary. The terms, “I’m sorry”, “Forgive me,” “Let’s agree to disagree,” “I love you,” “I need my space,” “Thank you,” “You were right,” are short and so simple. How many once-awesome relationships could be mended with them. How many cold shoulders could become warm again. How many bad endings could be rewritten.
Organizations and desk calendars announce occasions for the month. I declare February the month of expressing unspoken words. Get out your pen or rehearse those lines of appreciation or amends. Share them with kindness, truth and feeling. In the recently released movie The Green Book, there was a scene that produced the line, “The world is full of lonely people waiting to make the first move.” If you are harboring unspoken words, be the first to make that move. If the person you wish to speak them to is no long longer living or gives you the silent treatment, write those words down to release them and feel the relief that accompanies that gesture. Not only is the pen mightier than the sword, it makes a darn good antidepressant.
From the Sanctuary:
The Sanctuary is a winter wonderland. When I go out there is the occasional call of geese, blue jays or crows. Signs of a night visitor were in the snow the other morning when I ventured out and saw tracks everywhere. The deer visits are frequent across the street, and Frankie the Foster Dog nearly caught a large rabbit in the yard the other night. A snowstorm this weekend should freshen things up a bit.
Winter sunsets in western New York are precious and few, more often than not buried under cloud cover, yet the one on January16, 2019 was breathtaking. I viewed this from the warmth of my kitchen. The soft orange light of the sinking sun reflected the crusty snow and dotted my back yard with the spots that escaped through the fence. Every needle on one Scotch Pine, slightly swaying in the soft wind, illuminated in answer to the brightness as if bidding goodbye to the beauty knowing it would not return again for a spell.
The fluorescent fading light cast pink on the gray clouds that covered up the blue sky that dominated the day. I am in awe and one with the serenity that accompanies these moments. As the last of the color drifted into the other part of the world and the trees disappeared into the darkness, I rejoiced in the truth that the same cycle will happen tomorrow without fail and I’ll get to enjoy this ritual gift until the day my body withers away and I become part of it.
Because I have the opportunity to speak it now…Love, peace and joy to All