Sonder, my favorite word.
I stare at the faces of the people walking past, the people sitting next to me, the people smiling at me....
And I sonder.
They say that this feeling is a realization, but it is more than that. I do not merely see the people around me.
I feel what they feel. I understand their fears and hopes. I recognize their humanity when they glance up at me for a moment, then quickly look back down. I hear myself when they tell me their stories. The strangers in the streets may be strangers, but they are not so strange to me.
I sonder, wondering if anyone sees me - really sees me. Am I as transparent as all these wandering faces?
I cry their tears for them, pick up the dreams they leave on the sidewalk behind them and try to find wings that fit. I wish I could shield their souls from life's thunderstorm, I wish I could dry their tears a breathe silence into their heads.
To sonder is to place yourself in their shoes and walk their path with them. I wish I could do it for them. I wish I could do more than merely walk beside them. I would trade places if I could.
No, to sonder is not merely to realize that there are other people out there in the world. To sonder is to love those people so deeply that you feel they are all pieces of your heart.