At my very first HIV support group meeting, the same circle from which the musical “Rent” is based, I learned the difference between physical and emotional survival. The facilitator told us, “I can’t add years to your life but I CAN add life to your years.” I sat in my chair waiting to hear her solution.
“Volunteer,” she said. “Find someone who has it harder than you, surrender to the power of not knowing … and serve.”
I began volunteering for children who were dying from AIDS. It was a fierce test, throwing them birthday parties. Each month, along with a few friends, I would help to bake a giant cake, dress up in a bunny costume and set out to surrender to the power of not knowing.
It was a short time of joy. Most of the children did not live through the year to reach their upcoming birthday. It seemed like an endless winter. But we held on, continuing to throw them parties, celebrating their survival.
I learned to have faith in what all children know about endless winters: that spring will always come.
What is the miracle you are waiting for? And what can you do this week to surrender to the power of not knowing?
The drawing above is from one of those children.