Standing By The Well

The day started off with a series of minor irritations. Small stuff really, but noticeable because they were adding up and starting to highlight the major irritation: I had to run errands and go shopping in at least four or five different locations. Not my cup of tea.

I don’t consider myself a lazy or inactive person. I’m generally not sitting unless I’m meditating, reading, or watching a movie. Most of my friends prefer to walk and talk unless there’s tea involved. My favorite type of day is to step into the back acre and start walking around the garden. There’s always something that needs doing, and then something else, and then something else…. So a pleasant day is moving from chore to chore, listening to the birdsong, chatting with the chickens, and taking in the weather of the day.

I was determined to make short work of the errands and get back to the more relaxed unfurling of arising chores. But then one of the nose pads on my glasses came off as I was looking for my car keys. I know from experience that a few hours of metal poking the bridge of my nose would soon be painful and even more of a nuisance. Another stop would be required.

I set off for the optometrist’s office brimming with resentment and irritation. But better the burr of irritation than hiding it to myself and letting it fester into anger. I kept it away from other driver’s, pedestrians, and cars with bumper stickers I didn’t agree with. Sort of like limping for awhile after stubbing your toe, aware of the discomfort but patiently taking the next step.

I pulled into the optometrist’s parking lot and a convenient parking spot presented itself. It was a good sign but I wasn’t sure I wanted to let go of the irritation quite yet; what else might show up? The receptionist was warm and genuinely, well, receptive. My irritation was beginning to melt and I considered thinking about what I had to do the rest of the day in an attempt to drum it up again. I’m sure I’m not the only person who has irritation in their repertoire of defenses.

And then she came into the room and called my name. I thought perhaps it was a play of sunlight causing her brightness. Clearly this young women was happy, healthy, and very, very pregnant. She had a shine as penetrating and clear as a flame reflected in a diamond.

We walked to her workstation. Nose pads were briefly commented on. They didn’t seem all that problematic to either of us. I asked her when she was due. Less than a month, she said and beamed. Let me get you those new nose pads, she said, I’ll be right back.

I sat at her desk basking in the great grace that radiated from her immersion in her situation. It was a blessing for me to be in the presence of someone drawing so deeply from the Well.

She returned with my glasses and I tried them on and they fit fine. We looked at each other with this sort of I see what you see recognition. Peaceful, energized. I told her that I wished her well with the delivery and wished her and the baby good health. I asked her if it was her first. She smiled and said, Yes, it is and every good wish is welcome, thank you.

We shook hands and I left the office, the remaining errands now less urgent.

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