Friday afternoon I received a phone call from my daughter-in-law’s mother. We don’t talk often, but whenever we do, I always come away from the conversation with a new insight or appreciation of life as this woman focuses on Life’s gifts everywhere she turns.
I could hear the excitement in her voice the moment I answered the phone. I can’t remember all the details, but she had taken the train into Penn Station in New York City for an appointment. In the station she noticed a young man playing the guitar and singing. He had a hat out for tips. His voice was pleasant and my friend took the time to stop and listen for a few minutes before she continued on her way.
When her appointment was over, she went back to the train station and caught the next train to Secaucus, and as she took her seat, she turned her head, and sitting across the isle from her was the young musician. Of all the trains and all the train cars and all the train schedules, this young man, who had started her day with such a sweet beginning, was sitting beside her on a train bound for Secaucus.
“This is not a coincidence, wouldn’t you agree, Susan?” my friend asked. She watched this young man take out a croissant and begin to eat it. “He would pull off tiny piece after tiny piece and let each bite melt in his mouth before he ate another one. I watched his musician’s fingers delicately pinch off each piece. You could tell he appreciated every bite. It was as though it was a prayer he was saying with each morsel. And I thought of you and George and how George had said such a beautiful prayer the night of our children’s rehearsal dinner, and I knew I had to call and share this with you.”
My friend continued that later that day (whether she was still on the train or was at home, I don’t recall) she had an apple. She looked at the apple and thought of the musician, and she ate her apple “prayerfully,” savoring each bite, fully aware of its sweetness, and thankful for it.
I came away from that conversation with such awe. I want to always live life by being fully present in each moment, fully aware of Life’s sweetness. This amazing woman, time after time, makes me stop and breathe, makes me want to slow down and savor the moments, makes me want to really see the world instead of rushing through it. I wonder what today will show me?