Finding Missing Nouns

I saw a meme this morning that said… “I miss people, places, and things…Nouns. Basically, I miss nouns.”

I read that and instantly, I could feel soft tears pooling in the corners of my laugh… The both-and of truth delivered straight-up; the mix of gratitude for the circumstances under which I am living this period of physical distancing and the reality that yes, at the same time, there are nouns I miss.

The further I ventured into those waters, the greater my need to head out on a wander, in spite of the mid-May Maritime springtime stiff breeze and 4 C. temperatures. I needed to move, to feel the air on my already salted cheeks and to listen in a way that I used to practice with students: to listen broadly, deeply, distantly, intently; to listen within the both-and because it feels like greatest grounding and greatest freedom beckon irresistibly there at that confluence.

I put on my coat, stuck a pen and small notebook in my pocket, and walked over to the Gardens.

Slowly, as I passed signs for or looked up the scientific classifications of different trees and flowers encountered on my meander through, a list of nouns took shape on the page: hyacinthus transcaspicus; proximity; tulipa liliaceae; touch; fagus sylvatica purpurea; embodiment; aesculus hippocastanum; dimension

And then I saw this…

You can’t read it in the photo, but this blue origami crane, folded by Someone, had a little tag that says “You found me!” And I found it at the confluence of earth and sky…where root and branch meet.

“You found me!”

I thought about all of the ways that has been true these last weeks…the people I have been with in new, different, wonderful ways…the stories that have begun, been shared; the ways we have met up at the confluence of medium and circumstance and been able to communicate in ways beyond a specific grammar of social encounter.

We have found each other. Gift; honour; depth; light

As I was leaving the Gardens, I thought I knew the woman who was walking toward me. I waved and smiled. Turns out, we didn’t know each other. But she smiled too.

I hope she finds the crane.

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