A Day of Noticing

It’s amazing what we can see and experience when we slow down. The other day I went off to run errands…garden supplies and groceries.

On my first stop I noticed a man (probably in his late 60s) in a motorized cart near the back of the store. Seeing that no one was around and that he was struggling to reach something on the shelf, I offered to help. We chatted and after about five minutes I indicated that I was going to look in the next aisle for my items, attempting to bring the conversation to a polite close. But the gentleman continued to talk and I listened. I learned about where he grew up, his businesses, religion, military history, golf handicap and that he once met Donald Trump during a Military Veterans Tournament. The conversation continued with his questions of me. “Are those your real teeth?” and “You’re Irish, aren’t you?” and “Would you like to be our guest at the May 2017 Veterans Golf Tournament in Virginia?”   I chuckled with each question and gave him my responses: “Yes, Yes, and that is so kind of you, but no thank you.”   About 45 minutes after we said “Hello”, we wished each other a good day.

My next stop was the local market. Nearly done, I turned a corner and saw that Progresso soup – typically $2.50 per can – was on sale for 88¢, if I purchased ten cans. I am fairly confident that I would have not noticed such an opportunity to save in times past. The busy career woman, homeowner, mother, and wife usually “squeezes in a quick trip” and rushes through the process in order to get the absolute bare necessities to keep hearth and home together.

I arrived home and was lifting the bags out of my car when one of my neighbors called out. He was back from a month-long overseas visit with his 81-year-old mother who had surgery. I had noticed that he was very concerned about her before the trip.   So we greeted each other and he gave me the status of the situation.

What an interesting day of “noticing”: a soup sale and two vulnerable men who needed the gentle embrace of human connection. And as I think of these men now, I feel a sweet wave of gratitude that our paths did cross and that I did notice them. Now that I have slowed down, I wonder what more is out there for me to notice? Perhaps, an even bigger question might be, “How much have I missed because I was rushing?”

All The Best,  Brigid

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