Some moments are key and I wish I could slide them onto the ring with my other important keys, with the key to my home and the key to my car, the keys to my friends’ houses and the keys to my workplace.
I want to carry these moments–thirty seconds here and there–with me always. For the keys on my ring identify what is most important in my life: where I live, where I work, how I get from one place to another, the other people who have let me in. A person’s key ring is a ring of the real in this world.
As a monk on the road, I need to hold these keys in my hand. To remember where I live and work and the people who have embraced me, I need to feel the cool metal in my palm and the prick of the teeth inside my fist. I need something that coolly bites back when I grasp it too tightly, where the shape of it reminds me to loosen my grip.
Anyone who has traveled with me on any day has waited while I pat my pockets and dive elbow-deep into my purse, fumbling to excavate my keys. It’s telling that it seems my keys are always lost. It’s telling that my people wait while I look, sometimes exasperated, and then help me to find them. Often they’re found by someone else, by simply looking into the same pockets, on the same table where I just was.
There you have it. I’m a woman who always loses her keys.
And I’m a woman who depends on her ring of real, who needs to add to it so she doesn’t lose things, so she can enter, so she can remember.
Social media has been that for me for a long time. The photos and 140-character strands of thought are often an attempt to make an object out of a moment that I can carry with me—something to assure me of what is and was real.
I got lucky and got one with this moment the other day. This clip is a snip of a moment at the beach where my friend is playing his guitar. This is a friend who I call family in a land where I’m a stranger by comparison. You can hear the surf in the background, and a couple kids on the beach.
If I could take this moment and put it on a key ring, I’d have a reminder—a reminder for those days when the fear of the future, today’s rejection and insecurities, past resentments, those days when I’m knee-deep, stuck, in the mire of this world and sinking—a reminder that adopted family in the Kingdom of God is a real, that I can just breathe with the waves, that the beauty of where I live is today’s manna, and that the other people on the beach are the ones I moved here to Love in Spirit and in Truth.