We are Islands
Resurrection Bay, Alaska
We are like islands in the sea,
separated on the surface but
connected in the deep.
I am on a plane and one of the instant gifts of travel is that I seem to gain new perspective and insights as soon as I lift off the ground. I have been thinking about my close friends some of whom I have known for many years - we have been in each others weddings and helped each other get through Graduate School, new babies and everything in between. We have been through a lot together and have witnessed some of the hard and messy places as well as the energizing highs. I have new friends as well who seemed to just pick up as if we'd known each other for years. Our lives can feel so separate and disconnected when I look at the calendar. Different states, different schools, different schedules with most all of us juggling our own careers can make for long breaks in between a real conversation or visit. I am guilty of not making effort as well. I find that sometimes when I do have ten minutes to reach out, I choose instead quiet or solitude which I also crave. Irony. When I have had a stretch of this loss of connection, I can find myself wondering if I really have people who are there for me and who also rely on me. Are we all just too busy and preoccupied with our own lives and well being? I ask myself "Am I just an island? Am I really living life with anyone?"
But then I get a phone call from one of these dear friends and we have time to catch each other up on our lives or to hear about some present challenge. Over dinner or drinks we ask questions and commiserate on what we have in common as we struggle to make good choices and keep showing up for our partners, children, family, our lives. As I hang up or drive home, I am reminded that yes, I do have people I am living life with. We care and are connected. I know the truth; that I am not alone and it sometimes takes a deep dive to remind me.
As you look, around you may wonder if you're an island with too much space separating you from the people you care for. If you're tempted to think that no one really notices or cares, remember that what appears to be unconnected on the surface is in fact, most often solidly connected down below where we don't always look or cannot see. Let the words of this quote by William James remind you of this truth and see how you can take a deep breath and dive under the surface to see who you are in truth, connected to.
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Kimberly Simpson, a native of New Jersey, graduate of Wheaton College and resident of Nashville. Married and mother of three children. Lover of the ocean, gardens, yoga, cooking and travel.