Saturday, June 12, 2010

Seeing with the heart

It is only with the heart that one can see rightly;
what is essential is invisible to the eye.
                                                           Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

It isn’t often when you’re food shopping you find a cashier who is friendly enough to want to talk to you while she checks out your groceries. Today was my lucky day as I pushed my cart into the last checkout aisle at the supermarket. She was obviously new to the position but she was so pleasant you couldn’t help but want to talk to her. I glanced at her name tag and it said Karen.

I found my way into her aisle because the only other open aisle already had three people with carts full of groceries. Normally, the last aisle, at least in this supermarket, is reserved for those who have 15 items or less. Of course I found myself in the other aisle and since I didn’t see the “15 items or less” sign posted on her station, I walked over and asked if her aisle was indeed for those with less than 15 items. With a smile, she said, “No”.

I immediately swung my cart over to her aisle and began putting my groceries on the counter. Since there was only one person in front of me, I knew this line would move much quicker.

As I bagged my groceries, I noticed behind me was a tall, thin, elderly gentleman with well less than 15 items and two bouquets of purple flowers. From my vantage point I could not tell what kind of flowers they were when Karen asked the gentleman about the flowers, “must be someone special” she said. He shuffled, and said no, “they’re for the cemetery, my wife liked purple flowers.” Karen immediately apologized and while I stood there my heart went out to this gentleman. He looked lonely? Sad? Maybe both? But at the same time I also thought how wonderful he visits her gravesite and takes her flowers. It also told me how much he must miss her.

Later on I passed him in the parking lot loading his groceries into a sleek, brand new, low-slung, sporty Pontiac. Ah, I thought, someone who is still very much young at heart. That made me happy.

Hoping you’re all having a great weekend.




Just Be Real said...

HI Chris, yes to get someone who is actually pleasant as their job requires them to be now-a-days is rare. Glad you encountered someone like that.

Very nice story. I love purple passion flowers, I believe the one in the picture.

Thank you for sharing. Blessings.

Birdie said...

It's a touching story Chris. First with Karen, thanks to those nice souls who are friendly and who try to make someone else happy if only for a moment. And then the gentleman. It's sad and nice at the same time. His love for his wife that still lives and his loneliness and sadness ... and I love the quote, isn't this one so truthful?! Thanks for your lovely comment. There is nothing such the wilderness ... living in a country is my dream :-) I grew up in a small community surrounded by nature and that's where my heart is! hugs!!

Relyn said...

Oh, Chris. I knew I had made a new friend when I read your words on this post. You considered yourself lucky when a cashier took the time to talk to you. Most people get annoyed by that. I love that you are passionate about people.

Anali said...

What an interesting encounter! I felt happy about the flowers, then sad about his wife, but then happy that he still has so much spirit in him. You took me on a rollercoaster of emotions in just a few sentences!

SE'LAH... said...

a touching post, indeed.
How sweet.

Jaime said...

Don't we all hope that when we die, someone will continue to buy us flowers? In our favourite colour?
Such a sweet and endearing story.