One Saturday across several soccer fields, I saw the figure of a woman I instantly recognized as an old friend. I'd not seen her in years but just from her walk, the way she flung her hair over her shoulder, and stood at the sidelines I was certain it was her. I went to where she was now standing in conversation with a group of her friends and waited for a pause in the exchange and simply said her name. Immediately she turned around beaming, her arms wide open and grabbed me pulling me tight, not letting go. "How I've missed you!" she said as she hugged me for a long time. Hello Again!
Bumping into this wonderful friend filled me with an incredible feeling of love that is stable - always there and never going away. Even though we both had hard stories to share as part of our catch up, she is the kind of friend that, though we've not spoken all this time, would hold my hand while I cried. Hello Again!
These blast from the past friends and remembrances give me assurance that I've collected the needed experiences and people on my journey. Hello Again!
But then I'm reminded of a part of my journey where I've struggled, when the shadow side of myself was bigger or when I behaved in a way that I'm less than proud. In these moments I want to shrug away, turn my back, avoid embracing that person or memory. One day I curiously wondered, why don't I figuratively run across the soccer field to that memory for the embrace? Why don't I shake hands with the shadow side and say "Hello Again!" "Hello jealousy, welcome back! I think we know how to do our dance." "Hello meltdown with the kids, there you are again!" Ok, perhaps without the exclamation point but isn't there some similar recognition of where I've travelled, a bowing to the Buddha of the experience, if you will.
I made this sign for myself as a reminder that all of the memories and reminders, whether they make me jump up and down with joy or require my courage to embrace, are indeed reminders and assurances that I have collected the needed experiences and people on my journey.