Scratch Below the Surface

The other day, my nephew was playing with his Lego figurines. His brow furrowed in concentration as he swapped heads and legs, helmuts and hair. The activity mirrored my niece swapping outfits and shoes on her dolls. Same game, different toys.

It occurred to me that adults focus so much energy highlighting the differences among us. Perhaps, if each of us looked more closely, we might notice more of the ways we are alike.

We all have opposable thumbs and pump red and white cells in our blood. We all cry the same salty tears. Too many tears, lately.

The next time hate, anger, doubt, or fear focuses the attention on what separates us, pause and take a breath. Then, try to note some of the ways we are alike.

Different hair color, eye color, skin color: same fears and insecurities. Different religion, sexual orientation, socioeconomic status: same hopes and dreams.

Scratch below the surface, and recognize we are all human.

Something is Missing

Last night I woke at 2:30am convinced that I’d forgotten something at the dry cleaner. What was it? And where was the little green paper slip I would need to pick it up?

In the dark, I scrawled a note to myself planning to deal with it in the morning, but I was unable to get back to sleep. After turning on the light, I stumbled to the closet, and started pushing through all my hanging clothes. Nothing was missing.

By morning, the incident was like a metaphor. It felt like a whisper from the past, reaching out to remind me of something I once had that was now missing.

Do I continue to search for it? Or embrace the loss knowing that having less makes room for more in the future.