I am reading the novel, Tell The Wolves I Am Home, by Carla Rifka Brunt. It is the story of how a young girl navigates the terrain of her world after she loses her favorite Uncle to AIDS. This particular passage spoke to me: “I felt like I had proof that not all days are the same length, not all time has the same weight. Proof that there are worlds and worlds and worlds on top of worlds, if you want them to be there.”
The cadence of that passage rang in my head yesterday. On the drive home, I caught a glimpse of the sun setting behind the mountains. My mind recounted what occurred during the past weekend. The colors of Holi splattered on Saturday as a friend hosted a fun color party at their home. My daughter enjoyed grabbing powdered blues and pinks and throwing them without considering the consequences. The colors created a burst of energy that landed like rainbows on faces and clothes of those who surrounded us. Festive and fun, the music played in the background. In one corner, an older couple danced, in another area, children pushed each other on the swings. Spring announced itself in full glory and glee in this tiny piece of the world. The weight of this day felt light and joyful.
The next day, I did two things. I walked through a hospital floor to visit a friend’s daughter in the hospital. As I entered the hospital, I saw a man walk out with a two bags of clothes and a noticeable tension on his face. While I pushed the elevator button, I witnessed a woman pushing a young boy on a hospital bed. The little boy looked at me. In that brief exchange, I considered the weight of his day. How was time moving for him? What was the rhythm of his days? Anytime I am in a hospital my mind gravitates toward the number of times we accompanied my father to the hospital and how often we became fixtures in a building that for so many years was just another structure that we passed by on the highway. In those moments, the weight of the day felt so heavy and burdened and time strung us like we were puppets. Nothing appeared to be in our control.
I carried that feeling with me as I drove to my next destination. As I steered my car into another lane, the weight of the day seem to shift in an opposite direction. My mind focused on the road and the anticipating of meeting a friend’s new baby. When I walked into her place, the smells of baby powder, bright toys, and blankets greeted me. Holding her little baby, the goodness felt palpable and energizing. Her little limbs kicked and her eyes darted from whatever caught her attention. In the background, her mother called her name and in that little glimmer, I caught the love a new mother experiences when she interacts with her newborn. The weight of her world encompasses beginnings, hope, and unconditional love.
It always hits me that as one person is experiencing a joy, another person maybe dealing with physical or emotional pain. The weight of everyone’s day is different. And not all time is measured the same. Some days will pass without notice, while other moments will languish and linger. The colors of joy, the sadness of that young boy, and the hope contained in a newborn – all these are worlds that topple onto one another. Each carry a different weight.