Yesterday was my birthday. With everything that has been going on in my life recently, all the balls that I’ve been trying to juggle expertly, and all of the beautiful—often tangential—thoughts, projects and tasks that’ve been on my “to-do list” to accomplish, it was the perfect time for me to take a moment to…pause.
With everything that has been lifting me up up up, I wanted to take a moment to get grounded. To check in with my inner being. To feel the earth under my feet. An endeavor which is not always feasible—or sanitary—in New York City. I happened to walk into Central Park and find a patch of relatively clean, unfettered grass near John Lennon’s Strawberry Fields. I unslid my slides, and buried my toes in nature’s leafy green carpeting. I felt gravity weighing me down upon the earthen floor. At the same time, I felt centuries, eras, millennia of stone strata holding me up, supporting me from below my evolved, pedicured feet.
I peered over at Lennon’s “Imagine” carved brilliantly into his marble memorial landscape, peered at tourists taking pictures, at locals passing quickly by. Like the hands of a clock, I spun three hundred and sixty degrees to witness leaves, animals, people moving in the same atmosphere, but independently of one another. When my body returned to the twelve o’clock position, a blinding vein of lightning pierced the brooding clouds like a strobe light. Immediately after which a crack, boom of thunder shook the heavy air on a molecular level, as if I was standing right next to the subwoofer in a nightclub. The heavens opened up and full, enormous drops of rain cascaded from the sky, like water balloons dropping on the dance floor. As if I was late for curfew, it was time to leave nature’s rave, and run for cover.
I adore moments like these. Moments when you reach the street corner, and look up, sopping wet, only to catch the eyes of other drenched souls, laughing in the utter absurdity of your hurriedness. Giggling in all of your frenzied futility. The jig was up. There was not a dry millimeter on our bodies to salvage. We could stop running.
Even after I took refuge inside, I kept the blanket of human kindness—the warm and fuzzy sleeping bag of shared experience—wrapped around my sodden frame. It felt good to connect with those around me. It always feels good to connect with those around me. That is what it means to be human, the most important thing about this entire life experience. Connection. Compassion. Caring.
We don’t have to wait for mother nature to soak us into the same current, we don’t have to wait for a natural disaster to quake us into the same quarry. And we don’t have to wait for another attack on American soil to be reminded that we are all breathing the same air, we are all whispering our desires upon the same winds of change, we are all burying our toes—searching for groundedness, stability, support—in the same Earth. We don’t have to wait to be reminded that we are all in this together.
We are all in this together.
We are all in this together.
Imagine if we all went forth, and didn’t wait until we were both sodden wet in order to smile at our neighbor, our postman, our fellow human that we pass on the street. Imagine.
There are no strangers, only similar souls that haven’t—yet—been introduced.
Polo REO Tate was born in Lansing, Michigan, where her family has deep ties to the community. Her Great Great Grandfather was Ransom Eli Olds (R.E. Olds), a pioneer and prolific inventor most notably responsible for inventing the first internal combustion automobile—the Oldsmobile. Growing up, [...]