Empty hands

I read a quote once that I can’t recall, but the meaning of it has stuck with me. It’s a quote about how the people who show up are enough. And not in the way of your best friend showing up on your darkest days, but more about how the people who populate our days right now are enough. Like due to circumstance. Or when we’re repopulating our lives in times of change.

I’m not saying it clearly enough. I let myself surf around the internet for all of one minute and unearthed quotes that are close but not right. But I don’t want to quote the quote.

Maybe I just want to note that life is always changing. Sometimes we miss people we used to love to be with. And for whatever reason, they aren’t around anymore. Or we may pine for some perfect rendition of a person that doesn’t even exist. A made-up future best friend.

But there are so many people around. And it’s a pleasure to get to know whomever is showing up right now.

Today I walked by a friend’s house on the way home from my bookstore job (that job is the perfect place to get to know whomever is showing up right now). Anyways, I was walking by and her daughter (who is also my friend) ran out to greet me. And then I spent the next few hours with my friend. Randomly.

I watch my teens hang out with their friends for hours and hours, laughing and joking and being together. I wish for that open time of being with friends in such a relaxed way. That rarely happens. I’m not in that phase right now. It looks lovely: watching them with their friends.

But then, sometimes, I randomly get to spend a few hours with a friend. Total happenstance. Or I intentionally plan a dinner with a friend and her family. Or a chance short encounter at the bookstore is amazing. On and on I could go. I have no idea if you get it, but I really like the idea of whomever is populating our life circumstances right now is enough. Both randomly and with intention. It’s like a few lines from the poem “Happiness” by Susan Griffin:

“In place of/ perfection, the empty hands/ I turned out to the world/ are filled.”


See you tomorrow.


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