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March 25, 2018

When you’re lonely, remember Maitri.


I just got back from a wedding.

The best weddings are when it feels absolutely right. Stable, sane, calm, funny, heartbreakingly loving, with family and friends forming a community of blessing.

Tonight was one of those nights. All I could think was…no matter how much suffering there is in this world, something’s going right if two such as these meet and come together.

At some point, a lady toasted the families and said, “if you didn’t have such loving families growing up…I feel sorry for you.” I took it in stride, laughing along—but wow.

I came from what some might call a broken home. No dad, really. My mom, however, was loving and powerful and overworked and underpaid and burnt out and amazing.

But those of us who have worked too hard, for too long, and are older now, and go to weddings alone sometimes, who miss out on the climbing trips and the years of bonding and adventuring together with lifelong pals, those of us who might come from “broken” homes…some of us long for love and commitment and children and the whole catastrophe, too.

I rode home, on my bike, early, after saying my good byes. I road home in the dark, singing that old folk song about the moon, and that Rabbie Burns song about loneliness and love, and I felt so lonely.

So lonely I could cry. Many folks cried tonight, at the wedding, giving toasts. They cried the best kind of tears—happy tears, tears of love and appreciation.

And then I remembered: I was happy to be going home, too. To my dog, Redford. To my work—this. You. To my dedication to this world, to be of some real benefit, or die trying.

And maybe someday, this tired old boy will find a partner to laugh and cry with, and raise children with, too.

 

When you’re sad, remember Maitri. 

 

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Waylon Lewis

Waylon Lewis, founder of Elephant Journal & host of Walk the Talk Show with Waylon Lewis, is a 1st generation American Buddhist “Dharma Brat.” Voted #1 in U.S. on twitter for #green two years running, Changemaker & Eco Ambassador by Treehugger, Green Hero by Discovery’s Planet Green, Best (!) Shameless Self-Promoter at Westword’s Web Awards, Prominent Buddhist by Shambhala Sun, & 100 Most Influential People in Health & Fitness 2011 by “Greatist”, Waylon is a mediocre climber, lazy yogi, 365-day bicycle commuter & best friend to Redford (his rescue hound). His aim: to bring the good news re: “the mindful life” beyond the choir & to all those who didn’t know they gave a care. elephantjournal.com | His first book, Things I would like to do with You, touches on modern relationships from a Buddhist point of view. His dream of 9 years, the Elephant “Ecosystem” will find a way to pay 1,000s of writers a month, helping reverse the tide of low-quality, unpaid writing & reading for free online.