Feeling safe is an essential element of wellness. The need for safety permeates every sector of our lives. Not only do we need to feel safe physiologically, we also need to feel safe emotionally, spiritually, relationally, and financially. Knowing we are safe opens the pathway needed to create and enjoy life. I wrote this flash prose piece after my first year living in NYC. The city was my sanctuary. One may wonder how I felt safe in a place such as that. Well, all I know is that the city enveloped me with the love I needed to experience, the safety I needed to feel, and the creativity I needed to explore. Where is your safe place? Tell me in the comments!
And my heart whispers…
Everyday he is there – always smiling and telling everyone to have a good day. No one even seems to notice. One day I stop and introduce myself. I figure if we are going to see each other everyday, we should at least know each other’s names. Sometimes I wonder if I am the only person to pass by who knows his name, who appreciates his purpose…
“Good morning, Rhonda! Good to see you as always. See ya tomorrow!”
I smile, take my AM New York, and scurry down the subway stairs.
I leap onto the train and my heart whispers… “I am safe here.”
There she sits, as she does on many days that I pass. And as usual I decide to buy her breakfast instead of treating myself to a cup of coffee that I don’t really need. She sees me and looks away but I approach anyway. “What would you like today?” I ask. She briefly makes eye contact, smiles as if trying to hide her excitement and gets to her feet. Together we walk in – curious eyes seem to follow us. I want to make conversation, but I have no idea what to say. She doesn’t seem to mind. She is busy studying the pastries that await. We are worlds apart, yet we are the same. She points to what she wants and I order for her. There’s an understanding between us. She knows I care – I know she is appreciative. As we leave, she whispers a thank you and I wish her a good day.
I skip on down the street and my heart whispers…”I am safe here.”
“Awwww. May I pet your dog?”
“Of course!” And they smile like proud parents as I kneel down to make the acquaintance of their sweet child. I love dogs. I miss my dog everyday. Many times a dog has jumped into my lap and laid his head on my shoulder – something Jamm always did. The parents quickly apologize and state that their dog has never done that before. I assure them that it has made my day and I thank them as I walk away.
I stifle the urge to cry and my heart whispers…”I am safe here.”
“Welcome home, Rhonda!”
“Thank you Phil! How was your day?”
“It was good and yours?”
“Fantastic, as usual.”
He opens the door, I thank him, and we say goodnight.
My doormen are amazing! They always call me by name and I love that they are always here to welcome me home. And sometimes it is just cool to hang out with them – to learn about their families, their interests and what brought them to the city.
I stroll through the corridor and my heart whispers…”I am safe here.”
There are so many things that I love about this city. I love the diversity, the energy, and the people. By nature, I am a student. And New York City is my classroom. I am also learning many things about myself here. I am learning really good things like how resourceful I am and how much personal resolve I possess. I am also learning some interesting things – like how easy it is to hide here. Not physically, but emotionally. People are all around me so I am never alone. My friends are the street vendors, the homeless, and the random people who cross my path everyday. I have so much love to give and I can give it freely here – without expecting anything in return. I don’t have to hope that someone won’t abuse that love. I don’t have to hope that they will like me or even be nice to me.
I love, I share, I walk away – and for now my heart is happy…just being safe here.