Saturday, June 19, 2010

Tell Me A Story She Whispered

I usually do not see my kids on Friday nights...but I always call to say good night. When I speak with my daughter she always asks what the favorite part of my day was. I did not share with her my favorite part of yesterday (Friday) as it was a sort of moment, that at the age of ten, she would be unable to understand how it could be special, let alone be the favorite part of my day.

At around mid-day I had decided to rearrange my work schedule and go into town to take care of some business. As I left my place at about 1:30 I thought I would beat rush hour traffic and that my errand would take about two hours to complete. I am such a silly man.

There is one constant concerning Boston traffic...its unpredictable. There have been times, when at 11:45 at night, I have sat in the Southeast Expressway's southbound lane for 45 minutes...such are the things we do for love...Anyway...yesterday's traffic took me by took more than two hours to get into town and after such an ordeal...I decided to stay in town for a few hours, kill some time, and avoid rush hour traffic on the way home.

I was not at a loss for things to do...there are plenty of bookstores and cafes in which to while away an afternoon and lots of interesting people to watch...and in Harvard Square one is reminded that it takes all sorts of people to make up a world....However...I was hot, tired, annoyed, and in an all around lousy mood.

While walking from Harvard Square, there was a section of sidewalk that narrowed due to some construction. Approaching from the other direction was a Buddhist nun...her shaved head and her saffron robe gave her away. We could have both navigated the narrowed sidewalk...but instead...why I have no idea...I yielded the sidewalk to her to let her pass...she looked at me, smiled faintly, pressed her palms together, and softly bowed her head. I returned the gesture....

In the midst of the late June heat, my sticky clothes, my day that was blown to hell, and the less than kind thoughts that were swirling around my head...this passing nun afforded me a moment of gentle serenity.

By any measure yesterday was a lousy day...however...this silent exchange between the nun and myself is something I will remember and will take with me...and with it the hope that my little girl will someday grow into the sort of woman who can appreciate such small moments.

1 comment:

  1. i know those moments too. i love them. cherish them. even though i don't know why. a casual exchange with a total stranger. but nice. reminds us all that we're all sort of in "this" together. this happened to me on nantucket the other day at the only supermarket on the island. i was with my crazy kids and my bf who was wrangling the crazy kids. a very dark, very exotic looking older man was in the line next to me. we caught each other's eye and held the gaze for a second, but it was a long second. we smiled and nodded at each other, like we shared a really big secret. i just felt comfortable right after that, like for a second there was peace in the world.

    i love those moments.