Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Wednesday Wish (86); Connect

A  Photograph of Fingers Touching a Bright Light
photo by andrewhardman via flickr

I stood at the mouth of the Target funnel wondering which cashier to choose. Shorter line, or more likely to connect—which did I value most today? I chose to connect and found a cashier that looked interesting.

She moved slowly with an unnamed grace and seemed to search people’s faces as she rang up their goods. But her customers, they didn’t seem to see her. One woman said thank you. Another wished her a great weekend. But no one dared to begin a real conversation and I doubted if they ever shared their eyes. It was a business and for the customers, a way of being that had become a habit, of paying for goods and getting on with the rest of their chores as quickly as possible.

I couldn’t wait to talk to her, to listen to even a little bit of her story—to see her. It was almost my turn.

“Hello, how are you?” I said, looking into her eyes, my hands not busy but present, too.

She looked at me, really looked at me, and let a smile bubble up. And then, in a completely genuine way said, “I am good, busy. Thank you.”

“Your accent,” I said, “do you speak Russian? Because me,” and this part I happened to be able to say in Russian, “I don’t speak Russian.”

She answered immediately, “Russian? Me? Oh no, no. I am not Russian.” I had uncovered something she didn’t expect to reveal.  She went on, “No, no, I am from Romania not Russia. Have you heard of Romania?”

Now it was my turn to smile. She had no idea that I was a traveller or that I knew my geography fairly well, Europe especially. “Yes, I do know where it is. I used to live in Europe.” I said. “But I thought all the children in the Eastern Block had to learn Russian in school back then. Did they not do that in Romania when you were a child?”

She finished ringing up my things and turned to me with a new-found gentleness. “You are right. I did. But the truth is, I never liked it. I always preferred to speak my own language. So now, I can’t remember much at all.” She paused. “And I am happy about that.”

“I bet you are,” I said nodding, sensing her heavy past. “I’m sure I would be, too.”

We laughed.

“How then might I say ‘have a happy day’ in Romanian?”

She chuckled again, thought for a moment, and told me.

I repeated it back to her, watching her light up, her face suddenly pure love, pure beauty. “And Cristina?” I continued, after reading her name tag, “In case you forgot, you’re beautiful.”

“Thank you,” she called out to me as I pushed my cart toward the exit, “Thank you so much for being so nice to me. Your caring has already changed my day.”

I turned and waved, my smile almost exactly mirroring her own.

*          *          *

My Wish for you this week is to connect—to resist the urge to rush or the compulsion to tick just one more thing off your list, but instead, to value the people around you more than anything else. We forget sometimes that we don’t wear bubbles around our bodies, that we aren’t swimming in a sea made for one. We share the same air, the same feelings, the same needs and hopes and dreams with thousands, millions of people on this earth. And while we may think, more often than many of us dare to admit, that we don’t need anyone, that we can do most of this life thing on our own, you know deep down, that that is not true. We need one another. Not because we are weak or lacking something, but because we are love. Each and every one of us is nothing less than love at our core. And you know something? Love cannot be her luminous Self without that which gives her life…. connection.


  1. To value "connection" with people over time and money is a hard concept to grasp in our high speed world. With patience and compassion for our Self, the realization occurs that what is truly of utmost importance is that intimate Connection with people. Thanks for Being Present and connecting with so many!!!!

    1. Thank YOU for commenting with such beautifully saturated words of wisdom, dear Tim! Happy week, bright soul!

  2. At our local grocery store Sunday mornings, I try to do this - the clerks seem soooo stressed when the churches let out and everyone tries to rush through the store, grabbing the Sunday NY Times and wanting to get back to their families. It's more pronounced in the good weather, when people are hoping to get out on the lake. But I will take this advice today, when I have to write about a court hearing. I'll wager the court clerks (who seem invisible to most people) might like a smile and some genuine interest in what they do. And I'm curious about them, too, which should help.

    1. I am sure.. sure... you were a rare calm in the storm for soo many this past week...and that you will continue to be this week, too. Do you realize that about your self, dear Michael?:) Hugs, my friend!