Dear Light at the End of the Tunnel-
Being alone all the time is not good for anyone.
The weekend guests at the house and their two young dogs remind me of this.
The dirty glasses in the sink, the pile of muddy dog towels in the corner, the smell of a new kind of shampoo lingering in the hallway.
These reminders of life—lives other than your own—lead us outside of ourselve and our daily to-dos and bring us into the world. Emptying the dishwasher after guests plod out the door for the day’s activity, folding the dog towels warm from the dryer, soaking the red wine stain from the tablecloth; these messes to be tidied are not yours but of strangers or new friends or of the ones you have loved for years and the ones that they love but you had yet to meet. These are the leftovers of being alive.
The cleaning up after every one is gone is an act of connecting. The clean-up is a habit of faith. The tidying is a ritual of hope.
All in preparation for the return.
So you can do it all over again.
Droplets of dressing on the counter top and avocado peels in the drain and bits of stuffing from a flattened dog toy; these are the remnants of lives lived and stories shared and trips to Italy in the making.
We were strangers to each other once, I knew you by name and your FB feed. I knew your relation to my life and the thin string stretched across state lines and generations and two divorces and years of separation that barely connected us. That was our relationship to one another.
But now, I know you in person. We have hugged hello. We have piled chopped salad on our plates and sipped aged red wine from a shared bottle offered as a gift and joined in a chorus of happy belated birthday. I know you now. We are no longer strangers and I am grateful for it.
Thank you for bringing me out of myself. Thank you for reminding me what it is like to open a home to strangers and to sit down to a shared meal.
There is a light at the end of tunnel. The light is in being vulnerable to the act of connecting to life.