When I arrived to my volunteer work today I found someone who was excited. She had just received some of the best possible news, and wanted to share. It went something like this:
"I'm organizing a retreat for my church. It's in the fall, in old growth forest near Mount Hood. And I just found out that we're getting monks. They can lead the meditation and yoga, and..."
...there were many more details, and it sounded amazing. I almost wanted to join her church just to go on the retreat, it sounded so fantastic. There wasn't much for me to contribute to the conservation, but I was definitely an enthusiastic listener, and I made it known that I thought the retreat sounded amazing.
And then, she said something that shocked me.
"Thank you for being someone I can tell about this. Most people would look at me weird when I mention meditation and that sort of thing. But I knew I could talk to you."
As a Pagan, I'm used to being limited in who I talk to about my own practices. I don't tell people certain things unless I know them pretty well, or unless I find out that they are themselves Pagan. (Actually, mom has already told this woman things that I wouldn't have chosen to tell her myself. Luckily, she took it really well. And it may be why she was open with me.) Yet it never occurred to me that this person, who is Christian, might not be able to speak openly to just anyone about her own practices.
It still seems strange to me that she can't talk to some people about meditation, and having monks at her retreat, without getting bad responses. Yet I don't think she would have thanked me if she didn't have personal experience with that.
Could it be that having someone who you can talk to is more rare than I had thought?