Friday, October 29, 2010
skipping the grace notes
Fall arrived this last week with rain, wind, and plummeting temperatures.
My morning walks to work are now brisk enough to require a light jacket. And, perhaps a light, as well. The twenty-minute walk starts in the dark, but the day is in full dawn by the time I enter the shop where people are good enough to exchange a fair amount of money for a bit of my day.
But what I have noticed most are the sounds. Mainly birds getting a fast start on the day to catch the unwitting worm. After a bit of song.
The most notable are the Canada geese noisily flying in B-24 formations as if wishing a terrible end for the Ploesti oil fields. Geese heading east. Having found their Eden, they are not interested in migrating anywhere. They can breed and honk here all year long and live the high life without fear of Elmer Fudds trying to turn them into the centerpiece for a Thanksgiving dinner.
As I started through the Capitol grounds, I could hear another gaggle -- closer to the ground. But it was just a group of state workers chatting on their way to work.
This morning I started thinking about how each day is a gift. Getting up. Getting out. Enjoying. And all I need to do is share what has so graciously been given to me.
As I sit at my desk, I realize how hollow that thought now sounds. The last two mornings, I have encountered the same homeless man a block from my work place. Unshaven. Damp from sleeping outside. Carrying his cardboard bed. Waiting in the same place to cross the street. We have passed each other without making eye contact.
The first time I saw him, I had the urge to stop him and ask him if he would like a cup of coffee. Something to momentarily beat back the morning chill. But I didn't. I walked on by. Too busy. I had Important Things To Do.
This morning when I saw him, I started to stop him in the crosswalk. To invite him into the warmth of our building. But I was on my way to Eggs Benedict. A meal I could have shared with him. But I didn't. Instead, I turned to look over my right shoulder at him shuffling away to wherever he was going.
Opportunities to show grace to those around us arise every day. And we too often simply allow the moment to pass. Unremarked. Unreflected.
I do not have regrets. But I want to learn to be more open to these grace notes of life when they occur.
Maybe I will see him tomorrow. If I do, I will invite him in a for a cup of warm and a chat. Whether or not I do, I am going to listen for those moments when I can share the joy that is life.
Whether here -- or in Mexico.