Mary pondered these things in her heart.

I think sometimes about all the things that Mary, the mother of Jesus, witnessed during her lifetime, as it is documented in various books of the New Testament. Whether you believe that the Bible is true or not, you have to hand it to her; she had more resolve than most, but her ability to keep her life's account private in her mind is far from atypically human.

It's hard to ponder, hard to hold the experiences inside and not feel that you could burst. Often we are taught that for anything that happens to us to be valid, it must be shared. Even I struggle with that because I write so much about my daily life and wonder why I do it, if I do it because if I didn't perhaps my life wouldn't mean much on its own.

I also think of water. When water is running, as in a waterfall or from a hose, the steady stream of it has a calming effect, but it doesn't keep our interest for long. Even though we can take long showers because we are relaxed by them, our skin is overstimulated. And yet, when it comes to still waters, slow rolling waves of the ocean, trembling surfaces of still ponds, the ebb and flow of creeks or rivers, these are the places where we lose ourselves in thought, where we can stare off in the slowed down pace of motion.

So it is with people who ponder, who can keep secrets, who do not dish everything out on the first try. It is hard to be like that. Sometimes, just when you think there is no more depth to you, someone comes along and drops another mile inside of you.

If you've never stared off into the distance, then your life is a shame. (Mrs. Potter's Lullaby by Counting Crows)

Pondering requires confidence. That it isn't necessary to remind your SO how long you've been together, when you're asking not because you forgot but because you're reading their reaction to the inquiry. You may not need to say I love you as often as you think, when you say it mostly to hear it echoed to you. The smaller gesture is enough.

And it may take your whole lifetime to find this out.