Friday, March 11, 2011

Man Alive

I take my camera with me almost everyplace I go, but not inside the grocery store. After the photo opportunity I missed today however, I may have to reconsider that policy.

This morning I pulled into the WinCo Foods parking lot to pick up some Chinese mustard, sesame seeds, and dog food (No, there’s no correlation between the first two and the later item.) After parking the truck I set my camera behind the passenger seat as I always do in such places, and walked toward the entrance. As I approached, out of the store walked a white haired man who I would guess to be at least seventy five years old. He was pushing one of those big WinCo shopping carts about half full of groceries, and behind him walked a woman who I assume was his wife.

About ten feet outside the store the old man began pushing the cart faster and faster, leaving his wife behind. Then he put one foot up on the back of the cart, and gave a couple good shoves off the ground with the other foot, sending the cart and himself flying downhill between two rows of parked cars. My immediate reaction was to reach for the camera that I wasn’t carrying at the time, and as much as I wanted to run back to the truck for it, I knew the moment would be lost if I did. And so I just stood there and smiled as I watched.

The man with his thin gray hair flapping in the wind zoomed down the incline for about thirty yards, and then he and the cart gradually slowed as the parking lot tipped slightly uphill. When he stopped, he was just feet from his car, but barely within yelling distance of his wife, who continued to walk unperturbed toward her husband. What was she thinking, I wondered. “Damn you Harold! Why must you act like such a child?” or was she thinking “There goes my hero” and remembering a time when the wind blew in both of their faces. I certainly hope it was the later.

I continued to watch as he loaded the groceries into the trunk, pushed the cart to the cart corral, and returned just in time to open the car door for his wife. Yes I wished I had my camera, but the story will have to be enough. What a picture!

While shopping I realized that my new hero (the seventy-some year old kid) could have parked much closer to the store if he wanted to. There were plenty of spaces available. I bet he parks in that spot and takes that life affirming cart ride every time he and his wife go grocery shopping. And what a good wife he has. It’s not every woman who would walk that extra distance just so her husband could take such a joy ride. Leaving the store I imagine that he must have been a race car driver, or crop duster in his younger years… and yes, then I took a little cart ride of my own.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

My Own Way

Please teach me nothing.
Let me find my own way.
Let me make my own mark on the wall,
Below the millions who have come before me,
Above the millions who behind me crawl.

Please show me nothing.
Let me use my own eyes.
Let me contemplate the world I see,
Here in the moment, from the my own perspective,
To witness and imagine what could be.

Please sing me nothing.
Let me hear my own song.
Let me hear the music of the land,
From melodies that blow through windy canyons,
To beating waves that crash upon the sand.

Please give me nothing.
Let me earn my own way.
Let me find a way to show my worth,
To add coin of gratitude for my time,
For all the days I walked upon this earth.