Monday, March 9, 2009

Life in Measured Steps

The harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph... I love the man that can smile in trouble, that can gather strength from distress and grow. - Thomas Paine

I was coming out of Joanne's Fabrics, where I buy my polymer clay to make beads for jewelry that will eventually end up in a shop at Etsy. I should have stayed put that day, but I needed a certain shade of brown to complete a project. So, I ignored a nagging headache and headed out in the wind and rain.

The store was crowded, and everyone seemed to be trying to beat the next storm. Good! They had several shades of brown, plus lots of other light Spring colors, all on sale. I grabbed a handful of clay blocks and headed for the checkout, where six or seven people waited their turn in line.

Nobody talked. Nobody made eye contact. The store was eerily quiet, except for the approaching tap-tap-tap of an elderly man's cane. He walked in measured steps, holding his wife's arm, gently guiding her to the door.

They walked as one, like a couple who knew their place in this world, and loved the rhythm of their dance together. I'm not ordinarily a gawker, but I couldn't look away. He reminded me of my grandpa, who passed away when I was 19. The way he wore his tweed hat, the way his eyes crinkled at the corners. I hoped he would glance up, and he did - just in time for me to catch the upturn of a radiant smile. This was a face that smiled from chin to forehead. That smile is unforgettable; tatooed in the silver lining of my memory.

Life is walked out in measured steps. I hope when I'm their age, I'll remember to walk in gratitude and to pause long enough to give away smiles to strangers. I hope I never forget the blessing of being able to move about, even with a cane, and to share moments like that with people I'll most likely never see again.


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MiMi said...

Beautiful, uplifting story! I love sharing a big smile with a stranger. The feeling you get is like no other.

Anonymous said...

Great articles and beatiful design. Keep up the good work!


Seedplanter said...

Thanks, MiMi and Brandon. I appreciate your kind words.

Joan Adams said...

Oh, that's a great story - and yes, one of those special "teaching" moments in life. Great blog post! A nice one to ponder all day!

Jaguar Julie said...

In just a few well-chosen words, you have created an image that is so vivid! Beautifully written. I actually envisioned my own grandfather Alexander Nagy as he too had a cane.

Carrie said...

Ah, their steps were measured, but you were standing still to be blessed by the moment! Blessing & beauty in measures, and in stillness. Yes.
Thanks so much for sharing this today!

Sharon said...

Beautiful! Well written and encouraging how we can bless someone even with a simple genuine smile. You are a good writer! Keep blessing the world with it! Hugs!

Seedplanter said...

Joan, Julie, Carrie...Sharon,
What a nice surprise,to find that you'd visited. Thanks for taking time to leave a few words! Appreciate that.

Anonymous said...

Hi Bonnie! Thank you so much for stopping by The Cozy Couch. I read your post about standing in line at JoAnn Fabrics and had to be a follower. I can't wait to read older posts - your writing is great! I also really like the name seedplanter. And what an answered prayer that I might read your story about life measured in steps. I am so relating to it this week. So great how we can all be connected. Look forward to visiting you again!

Cinj said...

An excellent post about remembering to be grateful for what we have even though it may not be as much as we once had. God is good and he will see us through. I'm sure you'll be blessed enough to give away all of the free smiles you can. Maybe we should remember to start practicing now for that day!

Seedplanter said...

Thanks Joann & Cinj. Thanks, too, for the follow! Please share the link with your friends. The more the merrier!

Elizabeth said...

I've been in shops,or around groups of people where it's that same atmosphere.

It's hard for me to describe,but you did a great job explaining it.

You looked for life in that shop,and found it.And how much it stuck out from the rest there who had a heart beat.

Very beautiful post.

Sometimes a person wonders why some seem to be in their own world,and they are no doubt.

Some make themselves part of the world..Like you and that elderly couple.