Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Earthworms and Pennies From Heaven

First of all, the election...

I wasn't feeling so great last night so I was lying down at T's house while he was at the computer, updating me with the unofficial results that Obama had won, by a landslide even. That was not a big surprise at all to me, I don't know how anyone could have reasonably expected much else with the way things have been going for the past weeks, but lying there, tired, only halfway thinking about it and not even surprised or particularly interested (at that moment, of course I was happy to hear it) I felt a quiet but intense inner surge of excitement. It was bigger than me, and I know it didn't even come from my own thoughts. It was the feeling of the tide changing, in a grand sense. And this history-making election is just a symptom of this great thing that is affecting all of us. I talked to a friend this morning and she felt it too - what an interesting time we live in. The climate of the world is changing, and we're here to experience it. And, from where I'm standing, it certainly looks like that change will be for the better.

Now, on to other things...

One of my quirks is that I always have to rescue earthworms from the sidewalk. You know, after it rains and there are a bunch of them out there who came onto dry land to escape the saturated ground? Well, I'm sure it seemed like a good idea at the time, but once they're out, it's not like they can see their way back into the safe darkness of the soil again! The thought of one dying a painful death, less than a foot away from salvation but having no idea how to get there really bothers me. So, when I see one that's still alive, I put it back into the grass. As I've become an adult, I'm not as eager to pick it up in my hands, but I always nudge them over until they're in a place where they can burrow down.

I know it's not much, but it makes me feel like I did my part to spread some goodness in the world - and I'm sure it was a big deal to the earthworm!

This morning I saw one that it was too late for and had a moment of sadness. I know it's a little thing, but senseless death, no matter how small, should be mourned, if only for a moment or two.

I saw it on my walk over to the cafeteria on the campus where I work. I was craving, and I mean craving (as in, had been for days and was finally breaking down and getting one) a croissant. Yum. So, I decided to trot on over and pick one up, as the only other thing I had brought with me for lunch was a banana and that wasn't up to balancing out the huge amount of vitamins and herbs in pill form that I'm taking with every meal (another story) that make me nauseous if I don't have food too.

So, off I went. Very excitedly (on the inside).

As I was on my way, it occured to me that I wasn't actually THAT hungry, and although the banana alone wouldn't be enough, having a huge croissant too would probably make me feel just as yucky. But what are you gonna do, so I still went over and saw what they had in the caf.

A minute or two into my perusing, I saw a couple of trays, with the cutest little mini-croissants! About a half or a third of the size of the gargantuan ones I've always seen before. Yay! (note: I have never seen these before there.)

Anyway, I picked one up and headed for the checkout. The woman standing there looked at me.

"That's all you're getting?"
"...yes..."
(she looks with a strange face back towards the bar)
"Well, you can't really buy one of those alone - it's part of the entire breakfast over there."
(Oh, great. So am I going to have to pay something like $6 for this itty-bitty croissant? I'm not happy. And, for some reason, this morning I was not my usual smiley and good-natured self. Only once in about a year do I actually show my dissapointment and/or annoyance at a time like this. I frowned at her, thinking about what I was supposed to do...I guess my option to put it back was gone, I didn't want any more food, so I would have to shell out way more than I should to buy this little thing, all the while that I've been trying to be frugal for the upcoming holiday season. Dammit.)
"...Well, next time, remember that they're part of the actual breakfast. But just take that with you right now."
(all the time said with that same not-so-pleasant look on her face)
"...what?"
"Go ahead. But remember that next time it comes with the whole thing."
(it occurs to me that she just wants me to walk out with it.)
"Are you sure?" (she nods) "Ok, thanks! Have a good day!"

And I walk away, feeling abashed that I was a bit of a jerk (if mostly only in my head), and trying to figure out what just happened.

These are the things I am talking about when I say that if we notice the small nice things/blessings/answers/whatever that we get on a day-to-day basis, life can be so much sweeter. The truth is, I'd wanted something, even only for a fleeting thought, and not only did I get it, very unexpectedly because I didn't even know it was an option, but I got it for free.

And yes, it's only a small thing, but isn't life made up of nothing but small things?

So I gave thanks for it and cherished my moment of luck. Of course me, being me, attributed it to the Divine presence and said thanks for the little, mundane (but noticed and appreciated) gift, that was given to me for no reason.

And yes, I'm still having a not-so-great day. But isn't it great when you're given little things to smile about?

Hmm, kind of makes you think that it could be all on purpose, doesn't it? ;)

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