Last week I read Toronto Star columnist Rick Salutin’s column (The Ramadan kids go to the cottage). What struck me most about what he writes is how words alone fail us.
He writes about having 2 Muslim children spend a few days at the cottage with his son and himself, and the experience of fasting alongside them since it is Ramadan. He mentions the slower pace and the quiet that settled in after the first day; a sort of meditative state, he says. And then he goes on to discuss slowing down and the deliberateness it brings with it.
Which got me thinking of how little words tell us without context – except that we often don’t realize this is the case. By having a small experience, he was able, in a few short paragraphs, to connect me with this month in a way I haven’t before. Because of this column, I can connect to the quiet that I experience on a slow walk with my dog, or canoeing or sitting in nature – and I can now feel some of the essence within the month. He wasn’t sharing facts, or just using the word Ramadan to stand for it all, he shared his experience.
As we hurry through life, and the busy-ness and bottom lines of work – how often do we brush aside opportunities to share experiences and stories because there is no time or we think we “get it”.
What opportunities are we missing (and who are we missing) as a result?
copyright 2011 Annemarie Shrouder