In another town, walking fast up a long hill towards a slowly brightening morning sky, I feel a crescendo of that elusive optimism that seems to scurry out of reach of one’s outstretched and hopeful fingers. The secret is to let the surprise of life find you. Who could possibly have enough superhuman patience to let the world unfold like it should? It’s just a sunrise, it’s just a hill, and I’m a person enjoying all of it. I’m not walking toward, and I’m not walking from. If the lesson is to find enjoyment in the moment, here I am, wherever that may be. I hope that you find your way here too. No matter where here is to you.
Early this morning, I walked the unfamiliar streets, observing the city wake up. Passing the gas station on the corner, I watched a young man turn the neon lights on, unlock the door, and start his day. I walked quite a while in the other direction until I reached the point where I either turned around or decided to take an Uber back to where I started. For no real reason in particular, I chose to return. I stopped at the same gas station, went inside and poured myself a small cup of coffee. I pulled the four $1 bills out of my pocket and laid them on the counter. The attendant rang me up and I told him to keep the change. At the time, I had my glasses hanging in my right pocket. When the attendant picked up the bills, he smiled a wide, happy smile. “Have a good Monday morning!” I told him. He smiled even bigger. “You too, man!” Though his enthusiastic demeanor seemed a bit excessive, I smiled and laughed as I left. About halfway back to where I started I reached into my right pocket to make sure I still had the key to get back inside when I finished my walk. It was at that point I realized that my $20 bill was no longer there. I felt my synapses make the connection in my brain. I had indeed given to clerk four bills: three dollars and one $20 bill. It was an accidental excessive gift for the attendant. But I found myself smiling even bigger, knowing my error probably made him feel like this might be the best Monday ever. I hope it was. I hope it is. And if it is not, look up for a moment and find something to connect you to this wild world.