I left my house at 7:30 pm tonight, a quick jaunt to a grocery store 5 minutes away from my house and, I didn't get home until 8:30. I walked into my home to the strains of the closing music for, "Ren and Stimpy". It was dim and, as my eyes scanned to the left, they rested on the form of my sleeping Husband holding our sleeping Son.
Sleeping Son + Sleeping Husband + Ren and Stimpy + Loot from the Grocery store + quiet blogging time for Me = NIRVANA.
So, now, I can explain why my, "quick jaunt" to the grocery store took me an hour.
It began with one decision, to go to the grocery store down the road instead of the one that I normally go to. After that, it was one decision after the other that led me to the individual who made my "quick jaunt" longer than I had intended.
I cannot speak for my Husband or, our Son but, I am glad that my choices led me to where I went this evening because, I feel like it's one of those rare moments when something greater than yourself, the people in a five mile radius and, all of the rest of the world hardly matter.
As I pulled into the lane, in the grocery store parking lot, to search for a spot, at a distance I saw a man who walked with a limp and, I slowed my car down to show him that I respected his pace and his desire for safety.
The man stopped, waiting for me.
I drove on, slowly. I guided the car into a spot and parked. As I made my way toward the grocery store doors, the man I had waited on called out.
"Would you like my cart?"
I have silently spoken this question the last couple of times I went to the grocery store, left empty by the solitary posture of fellow patrons, never daring to interrupt their thoughts to divert them from something as simple as what to do with their grocery cart, that I could take it. We all work in a daze, except for this man and, because my heart secretly, silently hopes that someone, somewhere, sometime wakes from their daze of worry and stress to smile, I responded to his query with delighted surprise and, yes, joy.
I thanked the man for his offer and, he thanked me for my acceptance. The only condition to accepting his cart was to wait for him to unload his groceries from the cart and, I was happy to oblige. I didn't expect anything other than this pleasant exchange but, I received more.
For the next half hour, I was captivated by the presence of this man who offered me his cart. This man stood a couple of inches taller than I, at 5 feet, two and a half inches. This man wore a light grey polo shirt, a black hat with blue embroidery. This man wore jeans and tennis shoes. This man had a gold class ring on his right hand, on his ring finger, with a blue gemstone imbedded in it. This man held his left arm, slightly bent and crooked, next to his chest. This man had a friendly stubble on his chin and cheeks, thickly lashed eyes that were blue and twinkled, (yes, twinkled). This man's smile was gentle and easy, warm and inviting, respectful and understanding but, I’m sure that he had no aim for his visage to be the way I saw it. In fact, what impressed me most about this man is that he is one of the few true examples of pure virtue that I have encountered in my life.
I have encountered pure virtue several times, from my vantage point, probably more so than most people care to or desire to meet but, fewer than a handful of our population who truly treasure pure virtue. I am in a place where, when I find true virtue, it is a surprise and pleasant at that.
I am no more special than you or, anyone else, because I encounter people who give me hope. I meet them, less often than I desire because, my heart hungers for hope and light. I believe that hope and light are found in people and, even if I walk in a daze most of the time, I am always on the lookout for people who I believe are full of joy, light, love and hope. Most of the time, those people that my soul hungers to meet are silent, off the radar and, for me, it's a series of choices that lead me toward finding these people.
Is it God, in every religious sense and, every theory? Maybe.
More likely it is my desire to know that I’m not an Island, to know that all hope and goodness are not lost.
This Man, after offering his cart, told me of his work, teaching children how to play darts. So great was his joy, in having a purpose that HE found and loves, so great is his understanding and respect for Children that he takes absolute joy in teaching them skill that, to everyone else seems dangerous and useless but, he knows to trust our children, to know that our Children can learn so much if we can but have the strength to let them learn.
In the half an hour that I was in the presence of this man, I felt so much positivity and hope that, to not share it with you, would be a crime.
This man told me, "I get along really well with people, can't you tell?"
I told this man, "I don't get along with people very well but, I really like you."
This man said, "I like you too".
I don't walk around with my heart on my sleeve, (anymore, it's been awhile since i've done THAT) my eyes open, ready to receive and learn like I used to when I was younger but, I'm still on the lookout and I have nothing but deeply felt gratitude for the opportunity to meet and converse with this man.
Greg? Thank you. My hope has been rejuvenated. Your work is precious and unique and I am grateful that your purpose has led you to teaching future generations confidence, hand/eye coordination and allowing parents to learn to step back and trust. Thank you, Greg, for being in the Winn-Dixie parking lot today, to speak with me, (though I feel as a Social Leper at times) to allow me to speak with you and share myself with you.
If you are interested in the classes that Greg teaches, you can find more information at: http://www.citrusdartassociation.com/index2.html
You can also reach Greg directly through email but, I will only release Greg's email if you send me a message asking for it.
Last but, not least, I want to thank my Grandma Virgina for teaching me that differently-abled people are not to be feared or pitied but, to be loved, understood and cared for like we would for anyone else, with respect for individuality and requests for assistance. Granny V taught me that, while the body may be limited, most of the time, the mind, soul and heart are not and, the three of them are who you are, body be forsaken.
Whether you have given a piece of yourself to war or, disease, gestation, birth, violence, science or accident...
There are of those of us who SEE you, FEEL you, RESPECT you, LOVE you and extend a hand for you to take or, to just know is there.
To our Service Men and Women: The depth of my feelings for who you are and what you have gone through are beyond words. One day, I hope to be able to make sense of them to serve all of you because, it is one of the things my heart most wants to do.
"...Lovingkindness. (I like that word.) Dreams. Humans are very good at dreaming, although you'd never know it from your television..."
I may not wear my Heart on my sleeve but, it's not very far from it.