Saturday afternoon, I had a perfect moment. Everything in the universe conspired to remind me that I was in the most right place, at the most right time.
After finishing an imprompu lunch with a seldom seen friend, I walked over to Jin’s Produce to buy the ingredients for a salad I was bringing to a cookout later that afternoon. In the store, I performed the dance of tomato and cucumber selection, raising onto my toes to pick out a bunch of basil from the cooler and gently manuvering around the other shoppers as they chose individual string beans and bunches of grapes.
It’s a small store, without much in the way of aisles or empty floor space. Shopping there demands more interaction with fellow shoppers than a standard grocery store, and that’s one of the reasons I love it. I was once a dollar short on my purchase when a fellow customer overheard me offering to put my mango back, and cheerfully offered up a single. He didn’t want to be paid back, he said he was happy to help out.
As I walked up to the check out counter, I overheard another shopper ask the clerk if they took ATM cards. She shook her head and didn’t offer any further advice as to where he could get money. I spoke up and told him that there was a Wawa up on the corner where he could get cash. He handed his basket to the clerk for momentary safe keeping and murmured thanks.
I paid for my purchases and headed out the door. The man who had needed a cash machine had made it to Wawa and was heading back towards the store, and gave me a big smile and an appreciative “thanks for the tip.” I returned with “it was my pleasure” and an equally big smile and walked to the corner, buzzing on the positive interaction with a stranger.
Standing, waiting for the light to change, enjoying the sunshine, it was as if the world slowed down for a moment. I heard the honking of a car horn, and my cousin Dan drove by me, waving and shouting, “hey, Marisa!” I yelled a greeting back, and turned my head a bit to the right. I saw a woman pushing a baby stroller across the street with a child in it who looked to be about a year old. This baby was kicking and stretching her arms and legs in a way that telegraphed absolute joy, love and happiness so strongly that I could feel it standing 100 feet away.
All of this happened in a matter of a single minute, but the time it occupied in my heart stretches out continually, even into my present. Taken separately, these events don’t seem remarkable, but the three in sequence spoke to me. I felt awash with the love of the universe and felt singularly convinced that life is good.