So I was thinking about a routine trip I made to the grocery store this time last year. When I can, I like to take my time shopping, meandering through the aisles, seeing what looks good, and casually noticing the other shoppers. Your local grocery is a great place to pick up and read a sentence or two of other people’s life stories. Can you imagine if you could read minds, the stories you would hear?
Even without telepathy you can read body language, hear snippets of conversations, and feel the energy of a person.
Us humans wear our latest emotion like a coat. Some are heavy and tattered, others bright and light, a few are flashy and distracting, while others seem so comfy and unassuming. Honestly, most people are so intent on their task at hand that they are only faintly aware of others in their midst and certainly didn't notice me taking notice. I know there are times I've been in a hurry and couldn't tell you the color of my check-out person's hair. But that day I was tuned in to my surroundings and I made quick note of people's posture, the expression resting on their face, the heavy sighs, the grumpy huffs, and the sound of surprised and happy hellos only two longtime friends can make.
That day I also had several brief encounters of actually engaging with fellow shoppers who weren’t too busy to make eye contact. One women and I synchronized not once, but twice, our end-of-the-aisle merge with such beautiful finesse we laughed and said we wished merging onto I94 was so easy. A young man and I found ourselves staring at the same selection in different aisles so many times we considered swapping lists just to see if they were identical. A young mother was pushing an overflowing cart with just enough room for her small toddler to sit, grab ahold of items, and angrily throw them out while screaming loudly. I caught her eye and gave her an empathetic smile of encouragement, hopefully reassuring her - don't worry, this too shall pass. In each case, the strangers and I only shared a line or two, barely whole sentences but they had some weight to them. Like finally exhaling after realizing you've been holding your breath.
I was gratefully reminded of the magic of small sharings - how every chapter of our life is made up of single sentences.
Having paid, I put on my scarf and gloves and prepared to leave with my cart full of delicious choices for the days ahead (isn’t that a great feeling?). That's when I noticed a young couple entering, stomping the snow off their boots, each leaning over a baby carrier they gently placed on a cart. As they carefully unzipped the cover I watched their faces illuminate as they unwrapped the bundled gift. Seriously- they glowed together! Both of them fixed their eyes on their baby as they cooed and smiled at her/him. I watched as they looked up from their beautiful, new creation and shared the most tender, loving glance. Then he winked at her and kissed the top of her head as she returned a slightly sleepy, sweet smile. It was only one sentence of this couple’s new chapter -but it spoke volumes.
Heart Stories require few words, if any.
Do you have a short Heart Story you "overheard" somewhere? I'd love to hear it!
I hope your own heart stories are many,
beautiful, and full of love.