Beach Bench

The greatest gift is often just to listen

My gosh my first blog and I have been fretting about what to write about, do I write about health? Do I write about foods? Or do I write about my favourite herbs? And I decided that these topics I will write about later. Today I am going to chat about the power of listening.

This summer every morning I have made a point of going for a walk along our local beach, and three mornings a week I partake in free yoga on the beach, this for me has been a fantastic way to get to know a few of the local people living within our community. On my walk back if I have time I go for a swim, as it’s so lovely swimming early in the morning, it feels like your swimming in your own private beach. We have just had a king tide so to dry off I needed to sit on a park bench, and in doing so a lady came up to me and started chatting. I noted she had come out of a camper van so I asked where are you from? She said Rangiora which is a town in North Canterbury that I went to intermediate and high school in.  So of course we started talking about the local schools, the malls,  what has happened since the earthquakes, and it turns out we lived on the same street.  From here the conversation took an interesting turn, to watch I certainly wasn’t prepared for or expecting. She was talking about her family, and had just been up here in Auckland celebrating her son’s wedding, she had two daughters, however her youngest daughter was killed six months ago in a car crash. She talked to me about the feeling she got when the police knocked on her door.  She then went onto show me a photo of her daughter to which a mark kept appearing on the daughters face.  Every time she took the image out of the frame the mark wasn’t there, she washed the glass on the frame and no mark but when she put the image back a mark appeared and she said to me it’s the bruise that was on my daughters face from the accident that killed her.  This lady shared with me some very intense emotions and just as quickly as the conversation started it finished, and she said ‘I feel better now, and want to have my swim’.

As I was walking away, running the conversation through my head, I was thinking my gosh that lady just needed someone to listen, not to get over emotional but just listen, and I thought wow how fortunate am I to have been the one that was sitting on a park bench, looking at the ocean to be the person that she opened up too. It was a conversation that took probably 45 minutes, there were no tears, it was just the facts that she wanted to share, and in doing so I am hopeful that she got to spend the rest of her day with her husband, feeling a little lighter. So my thought for you today is the next time someone comes up to talk to you, give them a little of your time as you may just be the person that makes their day feel brighter.

Me xx