Thursday, October 18, 2012

Sat, Oct. 13, 2012: Kindness

Last Saturday, I headed off early to dog training class with Kaylee, so we could play fetch in the park and get some of her infinite energy out before obedience time arrived.  A friend had contacted me and invited me to visit that afternoon, so I was feeling pretty great about the day.  Friendship is a powerful thing, and having a friend randomly contact me and invite me to hang out was a wonderful feeling.

At our dog training class, someone was kind enough to point out to me that I had a flat tire.  Like, extremely flat.  There was a tire place close by so I drove there, dismayed by having an unexpected expense this month and a kink in my plans for the day.

The assistant manager informed me that I needed 3 new tires.  I flat out told him there was no way that would happen that day.  He looked at me and was thoughtful for a minute, then asked, "Will you let me make you safe?"

I stared at him, and I'm pretty sure my mouth was moving along with the thoughts that raced through my mind, though I didn't make a sound.  After sufficient lip exercise, I replied, "Well, how much is it going to cost me?", not sure what the process of making me safe entailed.

"Just let me make you safe, ok?" he repeated.

I stammered, in my typical ungraceful form, "Ah....I... I don't know what to say right now.  I don't understand what you mean."

He just smiled at me.  "I'd like you to say yes, and let me make you safe."

I'm sure I smiled with the awkwardness of one whose face is already engaged in the incredulous expression of eyebrow raising and forehead wrinkling.  "Um... okaay...."  I'm pretty sure I trailed off and just stared at him with that weird expression.  He asked me to go sit down while they took care of my car, so I complied, my head still trying to figure out exactly what it was I had agreed to.

I was approached by another man a short while later, who informed me that my car was ready and I was all set.  He handed me my receipt and gestured toward Philippe's open door.  My mouth set to working again in time with the thoughts racing through my mind.  "...Wait what?  I didn't even pay for anything yet."

The man looked at the receipt and shrugged.  "It looks like he decided to put a used tire on it for you, and there's no charge for the service."  I just stood there and stared up at him, confused.  "Here you go.  Have a good one."  He handed me the receipt and headed back into the store.

My eyes were fixed on the receipt as I slid into my car and closed the door behind me.  There it was, a $0 price tag for my new-old tire, my car made safe despite my budgetary constraints.  I drove away in a bit of a daze, trying to comprehend the strangeness of my random flat tire and the even more random new-old replacement, and the fact that it only cost me less than an hour's worth of waiting.

The Universe, often you make no sense to me.  But I must say, it did feel pretty wonderful to be selected for this act of kindness.  

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Fri, Oct. 5, 2012: Warm Snow

On Friday morning, I woke up and went about my usual morning routine.  When it came time to take Kaylee out, I cracked the door and felt frigid winter air pouring into my apartment. Two days before, it was about 90 out, but in typical Colorado fashion, the weather did a complete 180 on a dime.  I bundled up and headed out...

...into snow.  It had snowed overnight, and about an inch of snow lay over the entire dark, silent world.  One of my favorite things about my apartment complex is that the outside lights are giant clear globes perches atop solid looking black metal poles.  They look to me like giant Glinda bubble lanterns, and seeing them often makes me smile.

That morning, the world was heavy with darkness and made silent by snow.  A cap of thick white was perched atop each Glinda bubble, illuminated from below by light that poured out across the blanketed lawn and reached up to set the undersides of leaves and branches aglow.  The complete silence made space in the air for that beautiful light, and I loved it.

I do not consider myself to be a "winter person".  I much prefer the summer, when I am warm and can go on vacation.  But there is always something absolutely magical about snow: what it does to the light, the way that it utterly silences the Earth, the way that it transforms everything around it, the sound of each tiny frozen crystal landing atop the others.

It's funny how something like snow can make my heart feel so warm.

Sun, Sept. 23, 2012: South Valley Park

Several weeks ago, my friends and I headed down to South Valley Park for a short hike and a taste of the outdoors.  I love this little corner of the world, where the sprawling southern suburbs of Denver finally meet up with the foothills.  

I have lived here for 5 years now, but had no idea that these rock formations existed!  They are similar to those at the Garden of the Gods, but smaller and less like sentinels.   

One of my favorite random things about Colorado is the way that the colors in nature often harmonize so well.  It was extremely pleasing to me that the colors of the rocks perfectly matched some of the reddish brown hues of the grasses around them.
Toward the south there were a lot of houses, but looking to the north provided a view of wide grassy fields adorned with strange leaning red rocks.
They actually used the fields for hay, which I thought was awesome!  The hay bales were huge, and the air carried the faint sweet smell of hay harvested days before.
I still can't believe I never knew these rocks were here. :)

As we were on our way out, we spotted this doe making her way through the brush and grasses.
She didn't appear at all afraid of us and calmly wandered around close to the path, despite the fact that we had a dog and two young children in our pack.  It makes me feel humble when a wild animal allows me to exist closely beside it, and I was grateful to her for giving us all that experience.