Walking with a friend yesterday, I could tell that I'd lost him for a minute. He didn't get left behind at the traffic light. He faded out in conversation.
Soon he was back, telling me a story about tulips. Because whenever he sees them, it takes him back to a particular time and place.
And of course, had he not told me, I never would have known where he went or why.
Every day we are interacting with people who are momentarily jerked back or enticed back to times past, times that were terrifying or times that were beyond glorious. And we would do well to remember that there's a lot more going on for each of us than we know or than is in the present conversation.
Fortuitous are the times when we get to know what our people are really thinking. Or where they went.
I long to share with people what the Garth Brooks' song "Friends in Low Places" means to me. Or why I don't like worms. Or why I do love moss. Or why seeing cattle on a hillside makes me feel closer to God.
Rare are the times, for any of us, when we choose to "go there."
But what a sacred trust it is to hear people's stories, to know why tulips matter.