I had errands today. There were things to pick up, things to drop off, things to buy, people to meet. I like to get them done all in one day to save gas and make my other days stay-at-home-days.
Today it felt rushed. I had to be somewhere at 2, and it was 1:35, and I hadn't had lunch so I stopped at a fast food place for something quick. I decided I'd better get it to go, so I could eat on the way and save a little time.
When I got back to the car, I saw someone in the next lot over, carrying a container that appeared to be heavy. He opened some kind of receptacle and poured something dark and viscous looking into it. He was wearing work clothes...kind of dirty...and he looked tired.
He walked around the lot, gathering trash and aluminum cans. I watched him as he crushed the cans and added them to a bag. I watched him put the trash in the trash can. For a moment, I forgot that I had to be somewhere, and that I was in a hurry.
I wondered about the man. Does he work there? Does he own the place? Is he happy? Is this what he wanted from his life? While I was watching and pondering, he went over to a little shed in the corner and came out with a plastic cup with something in it. I watched him walk over to a little patch of uneven, cracked sidewalk and sprinkle bird seed. He went over to the edge of the building and sat....and watched....and the sparrows came for their treat. Actually, we both watched, as joyful little birds skittered and scolded one another, finding every last seed the man had scattered.
No matter how busy we get, how rushed we are, there is always a moment to do what matters. There's always time enough to hug a child, take a phone call from a friend, tell your husband that you love him, feed the birds.
The sparrows finished, the man went back into the building and I left for my appointment.
I arrived with time to spare.