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.
* * *
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.