We’re beginning a new year filled with new challenges. Inevitably there will be a storm of wins and losses. Each will help us grow by building character, new strengths, and relationships. Caring relationships support us. They form a strong bond - a network - a connection of invisible strings.
In the story of "The Invisible String", written by Patrice Karst, twins Jeremy and Liza are asleep in their beds when they are awakened by the rumble and roar of an oncoming storm. Frightened, they rush to their parents for comfort. Mom assures them that all is well. As she speaks Mom lifts her hands, and holds in front of the twins’ eyes something mysterious and impossible to see. She says to them: “I was just your age when my parents told me about the invisible string”.
Astonished, the twins look at one another, and then at the space between their mother’s fingers. Jeremy says, “I don’t see a string.” Lovingly, their Dad says, “You can’t see the string because it’s invisible. People who care about each other are always connected by a special string made of love.”
Liza asks: “But, if you can’t see it, how do you know it’s there?” Dad confirms: “Even though you can’t see it with your eyes, you can feel it with your heart. In every moment, no matter what, invisible strings connect us and give us the certainty that we are never, ever alone.
The twins, comforted, head back to bed. Although the storm is still thundering and lightning, within a few minutes, they are fast asleep. Knowing now that we’re all connected, they begin to dream of the many invisible strings in their lives.
This story resonates with me. Every act of caring creates invisible strings; the meaningful relationships that influence our daily lives. For example, the way I set the dinner table and light the candles are because of invisible strings - the ties that continue with my grandmother, my mother, and my aunts.
We also reach for invisible strings when we need a hero. Recently I had an important financial decision to make. I felt alone, but like the twins in the thunderstorm, it was an illusion. Thoughts of Emory, a friend and business mentor, came to mind. I imagined what he would advise. The response came swiftly, accompanied by his usual dash of humor. I had an answer and a smile to go with it.
I treasure my connections with friends and family - new or old, alive or deceased. I have a cousin who is a math genius, another fluent in French, a friend who is a linear problem solver... so many invisible strings, so many connections, in person or in mind. They exist because we give and take throughout our lives, and every loving exchange creates a bond - one more invisible string.
So no matter what storms arise this New Year, even when they create a thundering roar, close your eyes and imagine your network of invisible strings. And please add me to your list.