I’ve been feeling lonely lately. Detached from the source of happiness. Unloved. I sat to meditate tonight and fell into a time in my life when I was surrounded by good people. It was 1973, in San Pedro, California, and I lived on a boat with my loser stepfather and the mom who birthed me and unfortunately married him. I did not feel loved at home. I went back to that time and sat in the marina owner’s office. Mr. James used to have me sit and talk with him. He was saying something but all I could see was his mouth moving. I went into the store in the courtyard next to his office. The lady who ran that store, Thelma, would take time to visit with me while I spent the hard earned money I made washing boats and bought a rope or something for my little sailboat. She mouthed words but again, I could not hear her. The mechanic who took care of the gas dock said something to me, and the manager of the marina, Richard, and the night watchman, Jack, and D.J, the lady who used to have me over for a sandwich almost every day, and the doctor with the racing sailboat, and the contractor next to him – the guy he was always trying to beat on Wednesday nights, and the really rich guy next to them who beat them nearly every weekend, and Sue, one of the nicest women on the planet at the time, who lost her husband but kept her son and daughter busy with boating and fresh air… they all had something to say to me but all I could do was watch their mouths move.

And there were more people, good people, all along the docks, waving at me as I walked by, just like they did back then. Smiling. Mouthing the words.

I opened my eyes. I wanted to know what they were saying. I knew I could hear them if I went back. So I did, I closed my eyes and found my way back. “We love you,” I heard Mr. James say. “We love you,” were the words that came out of the night watchman’s mouth. “We love you” rang out all over the docks. I saw myself eating a sandwich. D.J. asked me, “How does that change things for you? To know you are loved?” “I feel full, strong, happy like I am okay.” “Yes, you are.” And then everyone I mentioned stood in a space that is no longer there and said it all at once, “We love you.” And I came back here, forty-five years later, and felt that love like it had been here all along.

Chris Plante

June 14,  2019