Those who dwell, as scientists or laymen, among the beauties and mysteries of the earth, are never alone or weary of life. -Rachel Carson
Of my favorite beauties and mysteries of the earth are the people I am so honored to work with everyday. My life has changed so immensely in the past few years – this year, having been like many in one.
It’s amazing that this experience is wrapping up. That today, our team, and our department will gather, to share in the learning, the growth, and the challenges of the last 12 months. To celebrate the next steps.
It has been a … year. Hard. Sad. Full. Exhausting. But absolutely full of joy and beauty and a type of connection to other people, to my life, to myself, that I have never known before. It has changed the type of daughter and friend I am. It has tapped me into the mystery and unknown that lives at the center of our days. It has opened me up to a new knowing of myself that I never expected, and am just unpacking.
As life shows us things in her own timely fashion, this week has been filled with loving and generous reflections. Today a patient said, in response to my thanking her for sharing so much with me, that to listen is to be human. While we all want to be heard, for her, what we really seek, is the ability to listen. To listen to words, stories, silence, bodies. To be connected and receiving another’s reality. To witness and be welcomed in.
That is precisely what my days consist of. The job ushers me into connection with strangers over and over. The stranger can be lost almost instantly. It is suddenly you and another. It is one of the greatest gifts of my life to tend to these connections. To listen. To be seen. To hold space. To love. To create belonging – if only for 1 visit.
So, tonight we celebrate and honor the work of the last year, and so importantly, the many patients who have taught us, day in and out. Their lives have made this experience possible, and has forever shaped me.
I’ve got one exploding heart right now.