I scheduled a massage for myself last week. I wanted to let go of the strain and turmoil of my life and relax into the trusted hands of Michelle, my massage therapist. Not only is she skilled and generous of heart, but also her office is a perfect haven. Located in an old house with lots of worn wood, it has all the trimmings; candles, soft music, Zen like furnishings and a statue of the gentile goddess of compassion. I walk into a sanctuary for my soul when I’m there and I can’t help but relax. So last Friday’s session began as I expected. I settled into the moment and let the ambience wash over me. That is until the gardening crew arrived. Within a few minutes of my cherished hour, lawn mowers and leaf blowers were roaring outside the window. Not only were the crew members busy, they were ever so friendly and talkative, yelling to each other above the noise about the beautiful morning and aspects of their lives. Well, I couldn’t hear the soft music and I felt my whole being tense. Damn, this wasn’t what I needed.
But Michelle never missed a beat. She continued in her committed way to sooth the knots from my body and sorrow from my soul. I’m not one to miss a metaphor, so I thought about this. Life does this to us all the time doesn’t it? Turn up the noise that is. We create the setting, candles, music, poetry and we make a commitment to nourish our spirit and sure enough the leaf blowers show up. Sometimes they are loud and obnoxious, other times just a constant din that can’t be ignored. The noise of life is inevitable. If I wait for a quiet scripted moment to take care of my needy spirit, I’ll never get there. And if I let the noise sway my intentions, well then I miss out don’t I? And what of those hands that never missed a beat? Are there always such “hands” in the midst of the noise? Does this divine world offer such constant assurance? I believe it does, but it’s not necessary to block the noise in order to feel the promise. The trick really is to trust the promise smack-dab in the middle of the noise.
So with the massage over, I thank Michelle, make another appointment and wander out into the rest of my life. The lawn mowers are packing up their trucks and for a moment I laugh at the thought that they are going to follow me home. But I just return their friendly wave and silently thank them for the gift of noise.