YES moments

This is the subject line of the most recently received email in my Gmail account. It’s an invitation to share the stories and photos of participation in the ‘yes campaign’ for the now-closed Australian Marriage Law Survey.

But this phrase, YES moments, presents a bigger invitation to me – it invites me to listen to the many moments in any given day to which I can assent. Today is a perfect spring day in Melbourne, sunny and still. As I write, the sound of chirping birds and trickling water waft into the house through an open door.

While my mind is focused on preparation for upcoming meetings, problems to resolve, things to do, Spring invites me to pause, to acknowledge the YES that I can hear within.

There’s power in these YES moments, power to lift our spirits, remind us of what’s important, encourage us to go on.


Thanks for Listening

I met him last week on the steps on The Royal Women’s Hospital. He was coming up, while I was going down. He spoke to me. I hesitated, he stopped.

‘Do you work here?’ he asked.

‘No,’ I said, stopping too.

‘What do you do then?’

‘I’m a minister of religion,’ I told him. A mistake.

He immediately pounced; began to tell me about experiences he’d had, religious and otherwise. About his girlfriend’s experiences, how young she was and his need for someone with more knowledge.

It was raining. I had an umbrella, but he was getting wet. I angled my brollie in an attempt to shelter him a little. He didn’t seem to notice and talked on, asking me questions but leaving me no time to answer. He didn’t need answers.

He had a theory, a conspiracy theory. Inwardly, I groaned, but none-the-less decided I would hear him out. A mega-virus with the capacity to wipe us all out. He had a sample of it with him and he held up a small esky. He should get going. He was taking it inside and he looked up at the hospital.

‘This is the Women’s,’ he said. ‘I’m at the wrong entrance. I’m going to the Melbourne.’

He laughed and turned away from me. Continuing down the steps towards the street corner and my car, I heard him call out. I turned to see him waving at me.

‘Thanks,’ he said, ‘thanks for listening!’

Sometimes, it doesn’t take much to show mercy.


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