Monday, June 1, 2015
what's in your bag?
The clouds that left devastation in Texas, have rolled into sweet Georgia and we lost power for three days straight.The air is cool, however, and no flooding here.
Monday is "run around chores" day and that included a trip to the library to pick up a book I put on hold days ago.The man at the desk retrieved my book and I drifted over to the sale desk to see if there was anything new.In the background, I heard a loud voice struggling to read and saw a young man with a volunteer.
From where I stood, I could see he was tall with sandy colored hair, stubble on his chin and an indentation on the side of his head.His reading skill evidenced a mental challenge.The woman volunteer across from him had such patience and her kind smile suggested she didn't mind the slowness with which he read.
I turned to look at the books and then I saw the man in front of me.He asked if I worked there and then turned to his helper and said:"I am just talking to this beautiful...(wait for it)...old lady."He should have stopped, but I had to laugh and I did.This is what I am, an old lady who is in her seventh decade.
How did this happen ?I can remember being 11, with skinny legs and protruding front teeth and wanting to be a teenager.Would that have cured what ailed?
The restaurant was upscale, on the Hudson River in Kingston, NY.White table cloths, flickering candles and subdued music.I was 14 years old and enjoying the treat when I noticed a table near-by.A composed young woman in her twenties with gorgeous auburn hair, a green suit and a bright white smile, sat among a group of men who were so important looking, in their dark business suits.They seem to hang on every word she spoke.I wanted to be her.She eventually saw me looking and, reading my mind, smiled as if to say:"It's not as wonderful as you think." I smiled back.
I look back now from my 70s perch and wouldn't change anything now or then.This old lady is content with what makes up her life.That brown bag of life's fabric is colored, bright and pastel, shiny, has streamers of gold and silver, sequins, smooth pink silk and all those pieces of rough, scratchy burlap.The secret, which took me a long time to know, is to be grateful for all of it.If God is in charge and He is, every second had and has eternal value.
And so today, I met a man that I will give a strong name;Mark. Mark shook my hand before I left the library and as I drove away I realized this:Mark has some lovely fabric in his bag:I see some solid blue denim, warm yellow wool and bright red ribbon.Honesty, friendliness and love.