I have eaten blueberries without really tasting them. And only afterwards, ink staining my fingertips, did the flavor fully slide down my throat. The memory of it, the words I searched for to immortalize its taste, put the berry down again gently in my mouth, so that I could actually feel its soft crown against my tongue, the bursting of its delicate skin, the small firework of tangy flesh and finally, too quickly, the crunching demolition of its tiny seeds.
I have walked through heaven and forgotten to look up and notice when words reminded me to feel the contentment, to notice the way branches dance the tango with each other, to allow my spirit to steep in the way someone spoke with me and saw me for who I was.
People laugh all the time, but rarely do we watch them for the way the muscles in their jaw loosen, the way their neck falls back, uninhibited, their upper lip shooting skyward to honor the hilarity, the way extra chins permit themselves to be seen.
These are the words we are constantly listening to, words that are tirelessly dancing to music notes we do not always stop to hear. Highways stretch on endlessly, honoring landmarks that all seem to be cousins, and our cars serve as willing oxen to prescribed destinations. We keep our windows closed to minimize the noise.
Every pebble has a landscape worth paving roads through. Every mind owns a kaleidoscope of colors ours have never known. Every student’s fingers will discover universes on the back of cereal boxes we have long since delegated to the garbage can and still, we might fall back into the endless dotted line of highway.
We look twice and three times because on a soul level, we know, that something still glitters behind everything that’s been dulled. That our inner forests are pulsing with something higher. That there is reason to stop off at the side of the road and pray. The little piece of me that is Him is the only reason I’ve slowed my engine down to care.
I am in the back seat of a car, and we are on the fourth hour of this journey. I am not a beginner. The trees fly past as swiftly as time, current, constant, and fleeting. I see a leaf. I see many. I see the spider web of veins across its waxy surface. I am leaning my head out of the broken glass of this world to listen. Staring harder to find the spark of soul beaming through bodily casings. Staying longer to remind them that it’s there.
I used to carry bandaids and first aid kits and I called myself a doctor. Now I will only hold your hand through the pain and say, This is G-d. The spot where a mother soothed her child’s whimper is holy. The moment she birthed him, G-d was holding her hand.
This life is a series of molehills. And ten toes and ten fingers will be the callused bits of skin to survive. I do not crave mountaintops or forest fires or an afterlife. Give me blueberries and laughter; give me G-d.