I was at one of the best weddings last weekend – it was a joyful start to a new chapter for the bride, after so much pain. We were on the edge of the beach, close to the sea. There was delicious food, good music and lots of happy reunions. I noticed something though, perhaps because I was sitting watching more than participating.
There were people there who couldn’t hear. The racket of excited chatter and loud speakers built an impossible wall around them. They could not join in any conversation other than with the person sitting beside them, shouting in their ear. And if they were able, they would have been some of the best people to talk with. They had lived life to the full, and had so many stories to tell. When I noticed this kind of struggle, I just wanted to take them by the hand, find a quiet space and hear them talk.
It is so easy to forget, or just not feel bothered to try, but there are giants around us, shut in to a broom cupboard. If we can squeeze in there, or even better, get them out, they will have so much to teach us. Hard as it is to believe, we will be in their shoes one day too.
My own shrinking experience was of not being able to dance. All I could manage was swaying side to side, gripping on to the table behind me, watching everyone else. But. If I had been dancing, I would have missed the chance to watch my beautiful daughter, moving with joyful abandon.
I would have forgotten to sit with the giants.