Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Supermarket Slowpokes and Different Drummers

Okay, here's something a bit more cheerful. A re-run, but hey... sometimes that's all you've got to give.

One day while in the supermarket I stood mindlessly waiting in line at the check out...
The young woman ahead of me unloaded only half of her groceries upon the conveyer belt while waiting for the man in front of her to pay for his purchases. Then she calmly (was she humming?) stepped over to a display of Christmas decorations and gently picked up a tiny reindeer. In the meantime, the cashier had begun running her groceries through the scanner, yet the dreamy-eyed woman ever-so-slowly replaced the reindeer, stared out the big front window awhile, then revolved once almost like a ballerina back to her cart. Only then did she notice she still had groceries in her cart in need of being placed up on the belt. She turned to those of us in line (did I hear impatient tapping toes behind me?) and gave us a sweet, "Uh-oh! I'd better move a little faster" smile. And yet still she moved with grace and only slightly faster.
Here, just a few feet away from me, was someone who moved to the beat of a different drummer.
Oh, her clothes were different, but they weren't the most obvious thing about her. I believe she was wearing a long paisley skirt and a thin black cardigan over a white blouse.Her hair fell almost to her waist and was black. And her shoes were more like black ballet slippers.
But what struck me as unforgettable was her peaceful, un-stressed-out spirit. She stood out as a contented person in her own happy world, a world where neighbors still have time to chat over the back fence. A world full of delightful secrets. In fact,her world appeared so happy that I wanted to join her in it. While leaning upon my cart and watching her, I felt myself relaxing my gone-shopping-keep-up-with-the-crowd muscles, ones I flex only in public because at home I am a different person. Or feel like one, anyway. I am much more like that ballerina-slippered woman among my own people and my own stuff.
And one year later here I am writing about that supermarket woman. Actually, I've recalled her often because she taught me something. Namely, that I take who I really am with me wherever I go. And who I am--and who I've allowed God to become in me--can make other people pause and perhaps desire a different approach to Life. Maybe my calm spirit can help Type A personality people slow down, and in turn, perhaps this crazy world we've created will stop spinning so out-of-control.
If only for one precious minute.

Here's a decorating video you might like. Totally inspired me, in fact, after viewing it I tossed these shelves (photo above) up on the countertop and came up with what you see.


Kristi in the Western Reserve said...

What an interesting follow-up to the previous post. And I think you are right. Being a calm person can calm the people around you, often. And if the world were made of calm people living in the present moment and aware of what it holds, it would be a very good thing.

I do think this time of year is a little challenging. Suddenly, it seems, it is dark so early. We're not getting as much sunshine as we were a month or two ago. And it's a big adjustment.........I think the celebrations of Thanksgiving and Christmas can help us through the transition and there there is the long slog to April, the time when we can learn to appreciate snow! And it is beautiful. Well, it's tough. I want to give in to thinking about the coming of spring, even in November, rather than opening my eyes to the blessing that November is. I have to work on that.

Pat said...

I clicked on the video and loved it. I think my husband would think it a little to feminine for his taste, and I try to combine both our tastes, but sometimes I just want to go crazy with Chintz!

... Paige said...

I have a friend, Debbie, she is a calming spirit for me. and thinking about her brings calm to me. Not that I'm all jittery or freaked out, but she just calms.

Anonymous said...

Such a thoughtful person you are. I like that about you. Unfortunately not everyone learns from these calm spirited people but i'm sure that they deep down admire them. Who wouldn't want such peace? I live with a man who is totally opposite of calm and peaceful and that certainly is not easy to live with but by having that peace within myself and knowing what I know about God, that is definitely what keeps me strong. Although I wouldn't call myself ballerina-like.;)Would like to be though.:)
Take care,