Many (too many) weeks ago I wrote about practicing yoga with my eyes closed. About how there is more to any of us than that which meets the proverbial eye. About the wondrous findings we discover when we journey inward. This week while rotating through the hematology/oncology clinic, I was yet again struck about how much more we can feel when we look through the lens of our Heart, rather than our eyes.
Yesterday I was hugged.
Yesterday I was hugged by a boy.
Yesterday I was hugged by a boy who is blind.
Yesterday I was hugged by a boy who is blind because of a big bad brain tumor.
As I walked into the room I opened the door very cautiously, thinking he could be behind it and I would slam the door in his face because, well, he can’t see the door now, can he? He wasn’t behind the door, thankfully. I introduced myself and tiptoed around the room to the only open chair. As soon as he heard me his spine straightened and his head spun about, trying to locate me, I assumed. He made a bee line for me as if there was absolutely no question where I was positioned in his vast black universe. He didn’t reach out a hand to find me, he didn’t pause a foot away, he didn’t ask me anything. He body-slammed me and hugged me tight, so tight. With his head on my shoulder I had front row seats to the scars on his shiny bald head, testaments to the many brave battles he has waged already. So I held him as I took an interval history from his family, going over side effects, fevers, medication refills, mood swings. Oh and by the way how is your family adjusting to the fact that he is blind, I wanted to ask. Which I could have asked. I didn’t. I looked for scrapes and bruises on his little body, thinking of the many tumbles he must be taking on any given day. There were remarkably few. We spoke of resources and special school services. He was still hugging me by the end of the conversation.
For him, it was a routine visit to the clinic, one that he will not remember, one that did not involve major poking or prodding.
For me, it was as if a burning bush had sprouted at my feet. Suddenly I could see. I was exactly where I wanted to be. Enlightenment through the simple act of hugging. Those free huggers out there are clearly onto something.