The world is filled with people who talk an awful lot but only to conceal who they really are. Walking around them with an open heart often feels like an aberration.
The heart has the ability to see the truth invisible to the eyes.It fathoms the heaviness of the secrets one struggle to keep.This lack of openness often hurts my simplistic expectations about the other.It then gets challenging to stop the heart from shutting down.However, often, in those moments of holding onto the finest threads of faith, magic occurs.
Today, while returning from the office, on the bus,I met a little girl. Peeping out from a navy blue jacket hood,her big eyes kept wandering,curiously observing everyone around her.She became visibly happy when her mother gave her the bus tickets she had bought.A thousand white birds took flight within me seeing her eyes light up.In an instant, I fished mine out of the wallet and gave it to her. Few other women standing around noticed and followed suit.
Elated at this unexpected rain of gifts, she started counting them, practicing the numerals she has recently learnt.Her joy multiplied after a few rounds of counting, “Ki moja, Ki moja”, “What fun!” she kept saying. My heart had leaped out already. A conversation ensued.
She enjoyed talking to me,it seems. With a name as poetic as I found her to be, Mekhla responded to my spontaneous banter with utmost enthusiasm.At some point, I uttered the word “Anondo” meaning joy and it amused her. Mekhla then wanted to correctly pronounce it.
From ‘aando, aaa oo ndo, aaa non do, ah nondo to anondo, it was such fun to listen to her repeat till she could perfectly say it. Her accomplishment brought a huge smile and I got high-fives after. My heart throbbed with joy, love, and wonder.
It is often shattering to encounter people with closed hearts, people who probably don’t know how to better cope with their hurt; but the gifts of an open heart are marvellous.
Besides brightening up what could have been a dull ending to a long exhausting day, this experience got me so many lessons.
Healthy children are probably masters of joy, openness and simplicity; the nourishing ways of being we often miss to appreciate and embody.
Thereby, I made an internal promise. Through pain, healing, grief, happiness, joy, and hurt, I would choose the path of walking with an open heart, whatever it takes, forever.