In a Hurry
I’m about to start the car and I realize I left my purse in the house. I’m already late leaving. Jump out, run in, push door open, blast back out pulling it locked behind me. While on the front steps, I see on the sidewalk below a woman I recognize but don’t know. She is running in slow motion, just about to pass my house. She is a bit older, I think, with a kind face and nice brown skin. She sees me and looks up, smiles, and gestures for me to go first. I pause mid-step and take in the scene.
Then I smile, oh no, you, I say with my outstretched hand. She smiles back, nods and gestures again. Now she stops running and stands patiently. She saw my rapid leap into the house. I move with momentum and roll down the steps to the sidewalk. I am grateful for her kindness and patience. She sees me in all my glory, in my habitual ways. I say, “Oh, thank you. Can I give you a hug?” She opens her arms and for a brief moment we meet, two women who know what it is to have a lot of responsibility, a lot to do, one who moves slowly and gracefully, the other blasted out of a cannon. She says, shaking her head, “Yes, hugs are one of my favorite things.” She gracefully paces down the street. I smile, sigh and get back in the car with warm heart.
Running an Errand
Open the heavy glass door of the bank. I am preoccupied with thoughts of the day. A tiny, white haired woman with an assistant is right there. I hold the door wide to invite them to pass. She looks up at me and says, “Thanks, honey, I never imagined I would get old. I’m sorry to hold you up.” I pause and say, “Oh, I’m not in a hurry.” as I slow myself down and take in her blue eyes. I smile to myself as I walk back to the car, noticing the sky for the first time today.
I remember that the day after Christmas the trash guys are coming after all to pick up the recycling. I rush up the steps to grab my stuff saying to a tall lean, dark man with a cigarette dangling, ”Can you hang on a minute?” He nods. I bring some bags down and say, “Hey, can I throw it in?” “Sure,” he says and steps aside. I throw my sacs into the grinder. I have thought for a while that everyone in a city should take a turn on the trash truck. Yes, it should be a shared task.
As I step back, still near the lean man, I say, “I hope you had a nice Christmas.” He nods, catches my eye, and allows just the slightest smile. “Is that your dog?” he asks, tipping his head toward Kyle, tied to a tree so I could run up and get my recycling. “Yes,” I say and watch him turn back to the trash truck, going up the street with a loud revving of the engine. Another brief encounter with the eyes of eternity.