By genetics or sheer stupidity, I have inherited a simple belief system that you always attempt to put your best foot forward. This is may or may not be good advice if you are on crutches. I have now gone around the sun another time and folks have told me that this is a big one. I am just happy to be above the turf. In my day to day life, I try to be a good scout. I help folks when they need a hand. I volunteer both as a coach and other endeavours. I give my time and other items away free of expectations and assumptions. May be the trips around the sun have tempered my aspirations. I am no longer looking for items for my resume. Now I am wondering about what may be said at the end of this journey.
So today, my efforts were rewarded with an amazing gesture. After working twelve hours to afford living in this wonderful city of Vancouver, i decided I should fuel up and get some vitamins to keep the ol noggin fresh. I knew my bank account was dripping away as fast as the fluid coming out of my old truck. Taunting the gods, I went to a grocery sore and proceeded to fill a small cart of items that I hoped would get me through to pay day. Sterling Hayden said that voyaging is launching off into the unknown without the security of having a pouch of money to afford the luxuries of travel. I have often thought that is an easy thing to profess because he could go back to Hollywood and make another film. Me, I am a mutt, a friendly and loving mutt yet my face will never be in a film..or at least not yet.
I was just about to put my goodies on the cashier stand. A young lad..I can say that now and not feel foolish..a lad without grey hair…hmm..he did have some in his beard and I did an odd juggle with our food and containers. Meanwhile, the novice cashier looked on non plussed. I was feeling good, the food looked good, and the vitamins, well I was hoping they would keep my eyes alert and open. Sadly, when I went to test the magic powers of my bank card, I discovered the amount was declined. Undaunted, I reached for the first of many charge cards and played an odd Russian roulette with my available credit. Behind me, the young lad, now growing older by my antics, watched and smiled. Behind him a young pregnant woman in her last trimester was fixated on the melting container of ice cream. I remained calm as the young cashier escorted me over to the customer service counter.
Now the line was growing as I shuffled back to checkout stand with a supervisor entow. I cautiously weighed up my options. Food or vitamins. What items could I return? Why hadn’t I waited two more days till pay day? Fortunately at my new age, I have come to the realizationethat it is alright to do odd things such as talk to strangers and pet panting dogs. I was fearless in an odd non drunken kind of way. I was testing how to be invisible as a worldly wise and more mature person on this planet.
That is when the fellow behind me took out his card and asked how much was owing. I though he was talking about his own purchase. The pregnant woman, now looked as if birth was just on the horizon. How was this all going to play out? I looked back stupefied as the bill was paid and a hand was offered my way. I can honestly say that the tears were just about to flow. I have turned the other cheek. I have made the stiff upper lip and no one has ever paid my fare at a grocery store. No one. I looked at my financial rescuer as if he had bailed out my ever growing debt load on this planet. I smiled and promised to pay it forward. I looked at the customer service agent, an lovely lass from India, and we both shared a cosmic hiccup. Perhaps all my deposits in the bank of Karma had made some impact.
I celebrated with a Starbucks card my students gave to me and bought a hibiscus and lemonade tea. I talk with the barista and smiled with the patient pregnant woman appeared once again behind me. I smile and shared some sage advice..”remember the word “epidural”. We both smiled. Coming across the lot, I saw my financial aid once again. I asked if he worked out and every needed something for pain. He said “sometimes but it is ok, I have run out of money many times and someone once helped me”. I gave him a massive jar of “sore no more” and grinned..you know..you just earned an “ataboy” at the bank of Karma I said and once again shook his hand. He smiled and in that simple action reinforced my faith in humanity.
Yes, England’s little detour with the powers that be may leave a debt load. Some one will make another film about buyouts and in the process, some one will be able to holiday in a yacht in St Somewhere. The butterfly affect will either hit the wind screen or send laughter into the air from young children following stray creatures with a net that has a hole in it. Thankfully and perhaps accidentally, some one will have to come to the rescue. Yes, a stiff upper lip and common sense will help you weather a storm or two. Yet is is such a treat to feel the wave of joy and ride that euphoric wave through rush hour traffic and manic driving behaviours. It is a joy to smile and know that as I type these words, a young man…a real man… is probably hugging his love one and sharing his story for the day. I thank the universe for today’s cosmic nudge and hope that these words ignite a spark of hope in your day.