Sondering Through The Green

They have parents, too                                                                                                                                                                                                                   Just like me and you                                                                                                                                                                                                                And we realize this                                                                                                                                                                                                                     As we sonder through the green

He’s probably been in love                                                                                                                                                                                                Experienced the push and shove                                                                                                                                                                                                    And we ponder his bliss                                                                                                                                                                                                              As we sonder through the green

She wonders what she’ll do                                                                                                                                                                                                          Has big plans for the future, too                                                                                                                                                                                                    And we consider who she’ll miss                                                                                                                                                                                                    As we sonder through the green

They’ve all lived stories to tell                                                                                                                                                                                                        With more to make, just as well                                                                                                                                                                                                We shan’t count them on one fist                                                                                                                                                                                                As we sonder through the green.

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Sometimes I feel suddenly aware of the fact that everyone around me also has an entire life happening concurrently with mine. That each individual is starring in their own story and their life is incomparably invaluable to themselves. This is when I go sondering through the greens.

When I sonder, I wonder where the people sitting in the park are from. I wonder if they have ever been in love or had their heart broken. When I sonder, I might smile and hope that the people in my favorite coffee shop have lovely parents. I might not, but I might.

Sondering can lead to projection, which is simply a bad idea. But it can also lead to empathy, which is a short skip-and-a-hop from understanding and patience, some of my favorite values. Sometimes when I sonder, I realize that I am not the only person in the room experiencing any number of neuroses. I realize that maybe the reason anyone does anything ever is to satisfy a neurosis: paranoia, anxiety, obsessive-compulsive, depression. Did she buy a muffin because she is sad, or was it because she did well on a test and thought she deserved it? Do those two things have to be mutually exclusive?

I go on, and sometimes feel so intensely the empathy this line of thinking can provoke that I take a sharp breath and shake out of it.