There is a man who works all day, every single day at my corner liquor store. He is from New Jersey. I know this because a few weeks ago when I stopped in for a bottle of wine he interrupted our conversation abruptly and said “You’re not from around here are you?” I am still trying to figure out what made him ask this question but I told him no, and gave the question back to him.
I enjoy a glass of wine in the evening and stop by this store weekly on my way home from work and pop in during the day for the occasional bottle of water, etc. He is always there, smiling and inquiring about whatever job I am dressed for at the time. I feel like he has become my friend.
The other day I popped in during the middle of the day because I was craving a bottle of fizzy water. It was much busier than when I am usually there and I stepped in line behind four people. I watched my liquor store friend greet every person like they were his good friend, and asked to be updated, knew details about three out of the four people’s lives. It was a beautiful hot day, people were dressed for work, buying things, snacks and drinks to get them through their day. Everyone left with a smile on their face. I realized that he is not just my corner store friend because we both work a lot and are both from the East Coast. He is everyone’s friend because he listens and finds something that he shares with everyone.
I work two very physical jobs and I know that it is not easy to be on your feet all day. It’s not easy to not have a day off. It’s not easy to work in customer service. It’s definitely not easy to do all that and keep a smile on your face.
I hope that one day he will be able to work less. But right now I am thankful because that day in the store, waiting in line to buy my fizzy water, he showed me how important is to meet people fully, to truly see the light that is in each one of us no matter how jaded or tired I might feel. The light in you brings out the light in me and the light in me brings out the light in you. We can all help each other to brighten the world. We can’t be happy all the time, but we can be present for each other as human beings and share our humanity because we have at least that in common.
Now yoga begins.