A Shared Happy Moment with Strangers

Yesterday I went with Liz to fill up the propane tanks we use at the orange grove. We took the pickup so we could haul them in the back along with some hay we needed to buy for the alpacas. When we arrived at the propane place, the young man who helped us was tall, blue-eyed with shoulder-length honey-blond hair. He was a flannel shirt and jeans kind of guy who walked with a spring in his step and easily lifted our propane tanks out of the back.

When I asked him how he was, his response was enthusiastic “Doing great!”

I commented on his positive attitude and he said, “What’s there not to be happy about? Tomorrow is my day off and I can just hang around at home and play with my dog.”

I had to admit that sounded pretty nice.

He walked inside with me so I could pay the young man who was manning the desk. The cashier was in a friendly conversation with an older man who was paying him for something he had bought. It didn’t take long to determine that these three knew each other well. They were laughing and teasing each other and also making sure to turn to me so I could also be part of the conversation.

“How many brothers do you have?” the older man asked the blond, flannel shirt boy.

There are eight of us,” he said. “Me and three siblings, then four of my cousins. My mom adopted them after my aunt died.”

“A true saint,” the cashier added.

“I bet that’s been a hefty food bill with eight boys,” I said.

The blond boy nodded. “You wouldn’t believe how much we eat.” He gave me a big grin.

I paid my bill and walked outside with a smile on my face. That spontaneous and good-hearted conversation was something I have missed over the past two pandemic years. I literally have not been anywhere to have one!

I had a spring in my step when I left. That mama with those eight boys has clearly done a great job raising this one.

I realized it’s these tiny shared moments that help us all feel connected in this life. I was extremely grateful to be included in this one.

I also felt heartened about our collective future. Love abounds. We just have to get out every once in a while to find it.

Ojai

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