So, here's the story. I was walking in the park last fall, taking some time to immerse myself in the glorious colours of seasonal change. I wandered past an old oak, but found myself drawn back to the inviting textures of its aged bark. I ran my hands over it, letting my fingers settle into whatever folds and cracks they came across. My hands searched higher and higher, compelling my legs to climb and follow. As I think back on it, it seems more like the oak's sturdy limbs were raising me up.
I scoped out a spot, just above me, where the branches and limbs crossed as if to fold themselves into a cradle. I imagined that I could not have been the first to discover this secure seat from which to survey the park. And when I finally settled in, I was pleasantly surprised to find that someone hat sat here once before. This, of course, was the spot where you left your note.
I loved finding your note. Folded--almost rolled--and tucked into the crevices of a knot, I wondered if it was ever really meant to be found. It was a secret waiting for the elements to claim it, but willing and hoping for a serendipitous discovery.
The part of your note that really stood out was on ideals, and I have to insist that there's nothing hapless about idealism. Much like values, ideals are choices. I have given thoughtful consideration to those choices and will continually do so, perpetually renewing my confidence to channel energy into the best things we can imagine. The only unfortunate outcome would be from betraying those choices. And from everything else you've written in your note, I think you believe that too. So, if we should ever meet, let's not talk about hapless idealism again.
I must have sat there for a good hour, maybe two, alternately taking in the autumn scene and rereading your note. If I had brought a pencil, I would have responded right then and there. Maybe the reason I lingered so long was to see if the writer might pass by. But no one came by, and as the sun began to set on the sky and on my hope, I knew that a conversation might only happen on another day.
I walked home with your note in my pocket, thinking I would pass the same way the next day, or surely the one after that. The truth is that intentions that are crystal clear in one solitary moment are often hijacked by the pervasive demands of obligations and habits. I made my way back to the park for the first time only just today. I left behind my own folded note in the place where yours once sat. And now it also waits for the elements, but hopes to be discovered.
I don't know what will happen next. There is potential for so much here. And even if you and I never meet or even speak, I haven't come away from this empty-handed. The whole experience made me smile and reminds me that my ideals are the right choices for me. Your secret note is in my hands now, and I hope your idealism will be happy with where that secret has settled.