Pouring Out

There are some extremely hard working women at the university who start their shift at 4:00 am each day. They hustle, they sweat, they make the offices in the executive suites sparkle and keep the rolls of “important papers” stocked across campus. About the same time of morning that I’m sipping my first cup of coffee they are donning purple latex gloves to clean up after the executives, administration, faculty, staff, and students who have left their mark on the offices and hallowed halls of education.

It dawned on me recently that there are way too many cast-off items stored in my garage, being in perfectly good condition but no longer of use to me and no longer bringing me joy. The items were destined for donation anyway. Why not cut out the thrift-shop middleman and gift them directly to these particular women behind the scenes?

So while gathering up several items, there in a box of mismatched tea cups I found a lone salt shaker. She had been cute in the 90’s but now the ceramic bunny shaker was out of fashion. Ms. Bunny no longer brought me joy. I picked her up for closer examination and she felt so light in weight. The big trashcan being nearby I decided it would be best to shake out any remaining grains of twenty-something year old salt that might have clung to her insides. What happened next surprised me. Salt came pouring out in a steady four foot stream as I held Ms. Bunny over the open mouth of the trashcan. And I do mean pouring out. It was so unexpected and she was so full of it.

• • •

Sometimes, when you least expect it, something just comes pouring out. Have you ever experienced that? Like a flood of tears during a dorky Hallmark greeting card commercial or an angry rant at a silver haired grandpa who swooped in on that perfect parking spot, or an emotional torrent of unintelligible baby talk when you meet your neighbor’s newborn infant (or adorable French bulldog) for the first time.

Stuff is in us that we’re unaware of. In a blink, when the conditions are just right whatever they may be, the contents of our heart and soul may come pouring out unexpectedly. The next time that happens take a moment to self-examine. Where the heck did that come from? is a good place to start. Perhaps you’ll discover that you’re still silently mourning the passing of someone and have never really dealt with the severing loss. Perhaps you’ll find you’ve covered over real life experiences that made you feel “less than“ which now translates to experiencing the “loss“ of a parking space as a travesty instead of a missed opportunity. Self examination can be quite a revealing diagnostic and when done with a healthy mindset will help you discover what makes you tick and what makes you unique among all others. Inventory of the personal “stuff” inside your heart is even more important than taking inventory of the “stuff“ in your garage or storage unit. Some dusty old mismatched things need to be given away, some need to be revisited and cleaned up and, mark my words, at some point some things will come pouring out.