Unexpected Encounters

I’m pretty much limited where I go… going just 4 blocks to Duane Reade was a TASK. Lots of stopping. So I’ve managed to spend most of the day at home, doing the whole RICE thing. (praying supernatural recovery!) I wanted to enjoy the weather some so I did go to the store to grab some broccoli. I was craving some fritters with a runny egg on top.

On my way back home, as I was waiting to cross the street, a little old lady with her cart full of groceries said “I hope you get better soon.” I didn’t think at first that she was talking to me, but I stopped and turned around and it was indeed me. I thanked her and then we both carried on together at our glacial pace talking. She let me know that her feet were hurting her and that she walked 10 blocks with her cart just to go the the store. She can’t take the bus because she can’t get her cart onto it and can’t bank on someone helping her.  She then told me the Irish blessing “May the wind always be at your back.” We laughed because we were fighting some mighty puffs, but she was fighting through relentlessly.  While we walked she said I was an inspiration to her. I have no clue why and I’m dumbfounded by that because she was such a strong woman with great character. I knew that by our short time together. She was a fighter and inspired me.

Later on Toby wanted to go outside and run around in my little courtyard area. Since he’s not getting normal walks in, I let him go run and sniff to his hearts desire. A little boy, probably about 3 years old came running up to the fence and just stared. He didn’t speak English, but I could tell he was intrigued by Toby. He was holding a tennis ball and was contemplating sending it through the fence. I scooted over to the gate and sat and got Toby over, but he didn’t want to pet him. He just wanted to look. Then he looked at me and handed me his ball. I looked at him and rolled it under the fence. He then picked it up and gently tossed it over the fence to Toby and it because a game. The little boy didn’t want to touch Toby or get really close to him at all, but found such joy in seeing him catch and run after the ball and then get it back to do it again. It was beautiful to see and experience childish joy without expectations. Patience and being available to the moment was all it took for that experience. I wonder how often I’ve missed those by being in a rush to go somewhere or closing people out.

One of my goals for the year was to get to know my neighbors/the people I see every day walking around. I wasn’t doing too great at it, but thanks to God, I’m able to spend time evolving those interactions by slowing myself down, keeping my head up and being available.


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