The difference is in our human connection

She is maneuvering her scooter wheelchair up the ramp into the Mac’s store where I am headed to buy cough drops. I call out to her that I will open the door, slip around her scooter and hold it open. She nods her head, grunts a muffled ‘thank you’ (I think) and moves away.

Inside the store, she struggles to move her scooter through the aisles to the cooler section. I watch and ask if I can help.

“I just want a Coke,” she says and I open the fridge door, grab one down and pass it to her. Again, she nods her head, mumbles and moves away.

At the checkout I step back to make room for her to get into the line. This time, she acknowledges my presence. She smiles at me, comments on the heat and how difficult it is to get around for her as she’s just got the scooter. “Cities aren’t really designed for people like me,” she says.

“It must be very challenging,” I comment and she tells me more about her difficulties.

I notice two puppies in a cloth animal carry bag at her feet and she tells me their names. “Buddy” and “Friend”. We chat about her dogs. I tell her how I like their names. “It must be nice to know you always have a buddy and a friend around,” I quip.

She laughs. “Yeah. Except, this Buddy, he can be a real little dickens. Always trying to run off. He’s so nosy. He wants to know what’s going on everywhere!”

And then it’s her turn and the sales clerk greets her and I know she comes here often because he reaches over towards the lottery machine and asks, “Quick Pick?

She laughs. “Not this time. Just the Coke.” And I wonder if, as happens to many, the month has too many days for her assistance cheque.

She holds the coke out towards the clerk but the counter is too far up for her to reach from a sitting position. She’s told me she can walk, but it’s uncomfortable in the heat and I offer to pass the Coke to the clerk and she is grateful. She hands me the bottle and her Toonie (a $2 coin) and I pass both to the clerk. He scans the coke, counts out her change. I pass both back to the woman.

“I’m the intermediary!” I say.

And we all three share a moment connected through laughter.

I pay for my cough drops. The clerk says, “Thanks for all your help.”

The woman is moving towards the exit door and a man in line races over to open it for her. He smiles, she smiles, and I smile as I walk out behind her through the open door the man is holding open for me too.

“Thank you,” I smile.

“Have a great day,” he says. “Oh, and thank you for being so happy this morning too. You brightened my day.”

“You brightened my day too.” I tell him. “I love open doors!”

And we part to go our separate ways and I know the day has been made different because of those small connections made through our human connection on a hot sunny morning in July.


A Servant’s Frame of Reference

Being at home created the opportunity to make a difference. C.C., my partner, is ill. A nasty cough that will not subside, I played nurse to his patient. Bringing him tea, going to the drugstore to buy Eucalyptus oil so that he could breathe in a warm, healing mist. Making him chicken soup.

Now, I would normally do these kinds of things but yesterday, the difference was, I consciously did them with a loving heart. I consciously filled my being with harmony as I responded to his need for care.

Often, when taking care of someone else, my mind is busy with thoughts of what the interruption is costing me — time, energy, the book I was reading, the task I was doing… With a loving heart, thoughts of the ‘cost’ vanished as awareness rose to the forefront of my thinking, filling my doing with awareness of what the other person needed to be comfortable, to feel loved, not what my doing would do for them and me. In that gift of being of service without worrying about ‘the cost’, I became intimately aware of the sacredness of the moment as my heart became imbued with  the awe of living from a servant’s frame of reference to being of service to my fellow human beings.

It also meant I was conscious of the gift of having my friend Dave stay with us for the weekend. He is moving back to Winnipeg today and needed a few days, after cleaning out his apartment, to rest and ground himself before driving east. This weekend gave C.C. and me a chance to spend time with him before he left. To simply be in the moment of enjoying his conversation, company, wit and insight as we shared a few days on the path together.

Opportunities to make a difference are always present. It is my presence that is not always aware of their presence. Filled with the importance of my personal busy-ness, I often miss out on the gift of living with a servant’s frame of reference. Without a frame of mind that says —  Living on purpose means being of service to others — I lose opportunities to replenish my spirit and enlighten my heart and soul.

This weekend, as I practiced being conscious of the moment and the gifts within each moment as I acted upon the call to be of service, I found myself reveling in the joy opening up within my heart like a lotus flower opening to the sun’s warming rays. In that opening, I am filled with the grace of gratitude knowing that, in service, I am breathing life into my presence here on earth.