Oh, hello beautiful! Yes, you, the person who is reading this. This is a friendly reminder that you are beautiful. I thought that you may have forgotten.
And don’t roll your eyes at me. I saw that.
Now, I’ve shared with you an experience about meeting a surprising new friend as well as a person who just boggled me beyond comprehension. While I enjoy watching people in various settings, there is one observation that I can not leave out. Myself. We are all individual stories waiting to be told and if we are going to study people in general we must also remember ourselves. I will admit that I have done some bone-headed things before too, none of us are immune. Despite this inevitable truth, we can often surprise ourselves with some kind of cosmic good karma.
I work retail, so my hours can be hectic, particularly during the holiday season. Add that to a busy family and friend schedule, throw in a dash of volunteering, a pinch of house stuff and top it off with a dog to walk and snuggle, it leaves you with a pretty packed schedule. In other words, a schedule just like everyone else, just like yours. Don’t get me wrong, I love it. I’m a social person, but every now and again a girl needs her introspective moments. Her quiet time, maybe in her jammies with a pizza and a good book. Time to stop and smell the snow. Yes, I said snow.
I actually like working retail, you get to spend your days talking to some really cool people. On a particular late December day, I had just finished a chaotic day at work. I had already been kept there over an hour past my scheduled time, which is not an uncommon thing for me. But on this day I was drained, and unusually cranky. My day had ended with a perfect example of supply and demand. I didn’t have a supply, but they still demanded it. A lot of people tend to get upset when your stock is out of a particular product. Especially around the holidays. They tend to take it personally when you inform them that you will have to order it and it may be a few days. Because, yes, my sole purpose in life is to ruin your day by selling every last one of ______ just so that you can’t have it. And yes, yelling at me about how I have now ruined your brother’s Christmas will magically make it appear in my back inventory room. And yes, the voice in my head is being highly sarcastic despite that fact that I calmly and politely tell you that I will do everything I can to get you that item. Because I will. Because when it comes down to it, I know that it is the holidays and you are just as stressed as I am. Because you waited until the day before to get his gift and I know you are unintentionally taking it out on me. And because frankly I’m like a freakin’ Disney princess.
So you can imagine after a very long day at work, I was ready to go home and finish the other dozen or so things I needed to get done. But first I had to stop at the grocery store, not exactly something that I was looking forward to. Ah yes, the grocery store in the week before Christmas. Almost as much fun as paying taxes. People rushing around trying to find a list of ingredients (where do they keep the PLAIN peppermint?), trying to juggle children who are tired and restless (but I want a cookie noooooow), and just trying to get out as fast as possible. Sure. Right.
So with as much patience as I could muster, I headed into the store, bundled up in my wool pea coat, mummified by my hat and scarf. I really only need a few things, milk, flour, butter, maybe bottle of wine for myself. With my little hand basket, I try to carefully maneuver around families pushing carts already full with supplies. I wait patiently behind the little ol’ silver haired lady who can’t decide if she wants the name brand flour or the the store brand to save 3 cents. I wait in line, holding my heavy basket while the gentleman in front of me writes out a check. I pay for my things and as quickly as I am able, I grab my two bags to make a hasty exit.
But when I get to the exit, I’m halted by one of my favorite sights. While I was inside, it had started to snow. Glorious snow flakes. Big, fluffy, flakes. The kind that seem to perfectly quiet and still the air. In the bright lights of the parking lot they were a calming sight. I stepped off to the side, so as not to be in anyone’s way, and just took it in. Watching the soft fluttering swirls in the air, slowly and silently swaying to the ground. They landed gracefully on my shoulders and head, gradually taking away the stress and sounds of the day.
I was so hypnotized by the sight that it was a few moments before I realized that two people had stopped next to me. A bright looking young woman, her cherubic baby bundled up in a stroller, and an older gentleman, with heavy boots and a walker. Both of whom had turned their faces upward as I had. We stood there for a while. Quite a strange sight was our little Christmas quartet. Most people just scurried past us. Not that I blame them of course, they had things to do, places to go, cookies to bake. The baby cooed happily in her stroller, and her mother took this as a sign to get moving. As for myself and the gentleman, we stood there for several more minutes, gazing up at the glittery fluff falling from the sky. After a bit my companion let out a long relaxed sigh. Laying his hand on my arm, he thanked me, saying “I haven’t done that in a long time. You have a Merry Christmas.” Then he adjusted his coat and shuffled off to his car. This grinch felt her heart grow three sizes that day.
Those few minutes in the falling snow was enough. Enough to de-stress, give a silent thought of thanks. I may have had a rough day at work, but in the grand scheme of things, it wasn’t the worst thing that could happen. I just needed a reminder.
I firmly believe people are stories waiting to be told. We knit and weave ourselves into the lives of those around us forming a beautifully grand quilt. Each colorful piece is a person, directly touching another equally colorful and vibrant piece. Occasionally our quilt gets jumbled up, maybe thrown onto a heap somewhere, so we have the opportunity to touch another square or person that we wouldn’t normally. Yup, we’re all just a jumbled up mess that has been tossed half-heartedly on the sofa. So tell me, you, the beautiful person reading this. What does your quilt look like?