Being aware that I see hundreds of “things” every day, and knowing to check my rear view and side view mirrors for safety’s sake isn’t enough. We see things such as animals and people and personal dramas taking place. But, do we really see them? Are we so busy, and/or mentally absorbed in our daily missions that we don’t really see what’s actually taking place? I’ve made it my mission to really pay attention to things I see during the course of a single day.
I saw things today that made me sad, that made me wonder, that made me angry, that made my heart sing, that made me laugh, that made me feel happy and glad to be me.
Today, while driving out of our subdivision, I saw a hawk swoop across the road and perch at the top of a dead pine tree to hunt for field mice. I saw a coyote patiently waiting to cross the road. She was actually looking both ways and eying the subdivision on the other side. I wondered if she was going to shop in garbage cans for food for her pups. More likely, she was headed for the field across the road to hunt with the hawk.
Today while driving towards a main road, I signaled to change lanes. The car coming up in the lane I wanted to get in then sped up to make it impossible for me to change lanes. What’s up with that? It really pisses me off that when you signal; someone is going to, in effect say, NO! NO ONE gets in front of ME! I think it’s a genetic flaw for me to want to scream obscenities at discourteous drivers, and even flip them off. Fortunately, I never really took that up, though many times I’ve been tempted. Down here, though, it could get you run off the road, or even shot.
Today, while driving to the gym, I saw a man standing on a median with a sign. He had but one leg, and his sign read, “Can’t find work. Please help!” I wondered what happened to that man’s leg as I got out of my truck to go work out in the gym. I counted myself fortunate to have both of my legs.
Today, while standing in line at the grocery store, I saw a cashier near tears; yet still being friendly to customers. I felt as if I known her personally for years. So, when my turn came to check out, I asked her what was wrong. She said that her son is in the Marines, and was supposed to come home this week on leave. She just got a call from him. He told her that he just got new orders and that he would not get to come from the Middle East for another six months to a year. I know if I was in her spot, I probably wouldn’t be so brave. My heart broke for her.
Today, while shopping for landscape supplies at the local Garden Center, I was standing in front of 40 lb. bags of pea-gravel wondering how I was going to load it on a dolly by myself. Ten years ago, I wouldn’t even have wondered. I would have just done it. A young employee walked up and asked me which gravel I was considering, and how many bags; and did I need some help? I told him which one and how many (12 bags). He didn’t bat an eye, but loaded the 12 bags of gravel on the dolly; and before I could ask if he’d help me get it to the register, he started pulling the dolly. He not only stayed with me through the line, but took it out to my truck and loaded it. I thanked him profusely, and he said, “That’s what I’m here for, ma’am.” I smiled at the young whipper-snapper as he opened my truck door for me. That just made my heart sing.
Today, while I was loading my groceries into my truck, I saw a grocery store employee replacing trash can liners in the trash receptacles out in the parking lot. She appeared to be a woman around 35 or 40 years old, of ethnic origin, and possibly a newly immigrated to this country. Much to my horror, she fished a McDonald’s bag out of a trash can and found a half eaten hamburger. The woman sat down and started eating it as if it was a prime rib dinner. I thought about the groceries that I’d just bought and counted myself lucky once more.
Today, while picking up a prescription at the local CVS store, I saw a little girl about 4 years old clutching her hands together. Her hands were dripping with what appeared to be lotion. Her mother was further down the aisle. I asked the little girl if she just got too much lotion. She timidly nodded, and I asked her if she would share some of the lotion with me. She held out her little hands to share the lotion. As I was slathering my own hands with the wonderful smelling lotion, her mother came up and said, “Oh! No! That’s not lotion! It’s liquid soap!” Thank goodness for the new canister of wipes in my basket. I cleaned as much of the soap off both our hands as I could while her mother and I laughed. Good thing I was close to home. I’d tried to do a good deed, and it back-fired ….. a little. But I got a great deal of humor out of it, and I laughed all the way home.
While driving home today, I saw two female Mallard ducks waddling down the sidewalk on Cypresswood Drive. They were headed for the creek. They had about12 yellow spotted babies in tow. I wanted to stop to look and take pictures, but there was too much traffic, and nowhere to park. How fortunate for me to see things like this in our suburban area.
On the way home I thought of all the things I had seen, and felt happy that I could see, that I could walk, that I food, clothing and shelter and a vehicle to drive. Grateful that I can make decisions for myself, and that my loved ones are all on this continent. My own limitations are not severe. My pain is not monumental, just a minor uncomfortable inconvenience. It was then that I realized that all of this could change in an instant, and was even more grateful for the life I have today. I’ll be watching again tomorrow to really see what’s going on in my every day world on any given day. What did you see today?