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  • At last, it is vacation time. We leave tomorrow morning for the rolling lushness of Texas Hill County. Five days of relaxation, reading, walking trails and sunset cruises from Horseshoe Bay. Rejuvenation!

    I carry a fair amount in my suitcase, too much, but then as my husband says, we are driving so we can fill up the trunk if we want to. The usual economy of packing for trips that include air travel is discarded and we throw it all in, just in case.

    Yes, the car will be full but my heart, oh my heart, will be bursting at the seams. Sometimes I wonder just how much it can hold but then some new love comes up and it always fits in nicely. Is there no maximum capacity? Just as the sky is not surprised when a thunderbolt suddenly cracks it in two, the heart is never surprised when a new love appears. It never says, I have no room here for these strangers, I am full up with the loving of family and those near and dear. It never says are you crazy? You have had your own heartbreak, your own pain, why take all this on? It never complains, it just eagerly accommodates.

    And, you know what? I suddenly realize this is the secret our hearts knew all along. There is unlimited capacity and the more we squeeze in, the more room there is. The more we love others and carry their pain and anguish with us, the less focused we are on our own little planet of pain and the more bearable, even joyful our life becomes. We weren't meant to be alone here. We were never meant to be alone.

    So, you're all coming with me. From hospitals in Maine, from South Africa, from Hong Kong and England and Florida and India and Pakistan, from Berlin and the French countryside and South Carolina. From D.C. and Finland and Canada, Mexico, Spain and California. From all over this world, and especially those from deep sadness, from death and loss, from surgeries and diseases and cancer treatments and inner turmoil. Especially those whose hearts are raw and breaking and twisted tight in anguish. You know who you are. You come with me. There's plenty of room for everyone and more than enough love, between us all, to go around.

    here is the deepest secret nobody knows
    (here is the root of the root and the bud of the bud
    and the sky of the sky of a tree called life; which grows
    higher than soul can hope or mind can hide)
    and this is the wonder that’s keeping the stars apart
    i carry your heart (i carry it in my heart)

    ~e. e. cummings

    Photo Credit: breahn, flickr creative commons
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