My family and I have been tied up in some big life changes that have involved hands-on work and no time for much else. But today, after a long time, I went for a walk with my son. Finally as things have begun to wind down in this big life project, I feel like I emerged from a cave.
Our town, even in this cold weather, still has a heartbeat. There are still people who smile at you. Even when wearing a mask you can tell they’re smiling. (And there are still those who don’t smile at you, but those were always around. I ignored them before and ignore them now). There are still people who say hello as they pass you by. That is comforting.
After our walk, my son and I stopped at one of my favorite local coffee shops and ordered lunch to go. As always, I felt the welcome and I felt the family business vibe that gives you that sense of familiarity, like you just walked into your aunt’s house and she’s ready to feed you until you burst.
Sometimes you read something that sticks with you for life. I have been doing bookkeeping for decades. Since I was a baby (stop trying to do my age math). And I remember the moment I read this one thing, like it’s frozen in time and engraved in my brain. I was opening the office mail and this one bill had these words stamped on it “Pay me, so I can pay them, so they can pay him, so he can pay you.” Even though that was just a vendor’s fun way of saying, please submit your past due payment, these words stuck in my mind and made me think back then (when I was a baby), that this is a natural cycle of life.
I accomplished more than a walk and satisfied more than just hunger when we stopped at our local coffee shop. I satisfied the need to make my small contribution to the local economy by supporting our neighbors.
We are intertwined in this vine and we all get our sustenance through the life of that vine. And in today’s technological world, this phenomenon crosses borders and oceans. “Treat others as you would want others to treat you,” no matter how they actually treat you. Why? Because someone has to set the example and keep the lifeline alive.