I was on the bus the other day with my youngest son. A woman in a wheelchair got on a bus a couple of stops later. She smiled a lot and had a dog in training with her. Then a blind man with a guiding dog, a golden Lab, got on the bus too. Both dogs were calm and quiet. Between following the trails of raindrops on the foggy window with his tiny index finger, my son’s attention was drawn towards the two people and their dogs. He asked questions about them, why do they have dogs with them, why is the woman in a wheelchair and how come that the man cannot see. How do people become blind? Can someone be born blind? His eyes got bigger as I explained it all the best I could. Life as we see it. It amazes me how matter-of-factly children take everything in. Time spent on a bus with a child is of a special nature. There is so much to see, more so through the eyes of a child. Questions danced around us like the raindrops outside on the pavement. New sounds, voices overlapping, faces coming and leaving, smells of wet winter coats mixed with perfumes and that unmistakable almost moldy undertone coming from never dried umbrellas. So much to take in.
The woman got off the bus, and the man with the golden Lab asked what kind of dog she had. Obviously he knew there was another dog. “A black Lab,” I said. We exchanged a few words more about dogs and how amazing they are and then the man and his dog got ready to get off the bus. Before leaving he turned around and said “Thank you for your time.” Just like that. I gave him a couple of minutes of my time and he thanked me for it. Wow! I could not help but how often I let time slip through my fingers like egg white and did not appreciate the great gift of it. Not planning to cranking along without a moment’s peace, but I’d like to make the best of my time. Because I almost felt ashamed when the man thanked me for those two minutes or so. Come on, I had wasted more than two minutes on purposeless activities that day alone. And it’s not even about stopping here and there to smell the roses. That adds to the appreciation of life around us. It’s idleness that bothers me. So here I am, promising to give it yet another try. Gentle reminders like the one I got are most powerful.
Our bus trip took three hours. We both learned so much. More to come if we don’t let the egg white stuff called time slip too easily through our fingers. Challenging? Most likely. Worth it? You bet.
Thank you for your time.