I have come to befriend an eighty-two year old man who volunteers his time fulltime tutoring students one at a time, and has done so for the past 11 years, in one of the many schools I work as a relief teacher in.
This man is an absolute great reflection of connection and love first. Recently I had a few minutes to spare before class and was able to sit and chat with him for a bit. We had a good catch up, as we haven’t seen each other in a little while. In that moment I got to appreciate the depth of care and connection that can happen between two people, even within such a busy school environment.
The level of engagement offered by him (and one I am always willing to go to) made me realize the absolute beauty that can be had in every interaction including the depth I can actually bring into every interaction.
I felt truly seen, listened to, asked about, laughed with, had space to share, felt I was held in a deep care and love. Really what he brings to that school is an everyday gift.
The level of engagement in our conversation that day was very touching to feel. An appreciation to the quality we both bring. There was a freeness and equalness and it had no drive, no pretending, or neither one of us was trying to overpowering the other. Age had no precedence with us sitting and sharing our wisdom, learnings and revelations with each other. Our conversation held eye contact throughout, had an openness, we held hands as we spoke for some part and we laughed together.
It is vary rare in today’s society that we can walk away from a meeting with another, especially in a work setting, and say ‘wow that conversation felt like it had depth to it’. But this is exactly what I walked away with. I felt light in my body and then brought that lightness to others I met. From this moment, I can fully appreciate and understand the simple grandness that not only our elders can offer us just from their presence and lived experience but that we all have the opportunity to offer this level of connection with others.
As with everything in life, there are no coincidences - and it was perfect that at this moment I encountered and felt such a moment, especially as I was looking at this very aspect of 'bringing more depth' within the way I relate with others.
My friend is about making every second in life about connection. There is not an ounce of protection or defense in his being when he is with someone, just a pure joyful connection, a caring, and true discussion and enquiry from a genuine place.
His presence tells me that life is not worth focusing on the troubles, even though like all of us he has had his share. He and the way he is now reflects that . . . we all have a choice in every moment to make our moments with others full and complete, or not. I could feel that when I was with him that he was fully there. There was nowhere else he was wanting to be, had to be or was thinking about being.
By Johanna Smith, Bachelor of Education (Major Special Needs, Minor Psychology), Graduate Certificate of Early Childhood, Studying Diploma of Counseling, Esoteric Complementary Health Practitioner, Woman, Teacher, Mother, Wife and Friend