I am really enjoying the wild writing at Laurie Wagner’s creative writing e-course that I am taking through her website 27powers. The five-week course is entitled: Telling True Stories.
The focus is on being the kind of person who makes enough space in their day to notice things.
This story finds me at the corner store with the idea of buying myself some chocolate as a treat. I have chocolate on my mind because I am feeling tired. The last few weeks of work and life have been very demanding. In my talking with friends, I hear several stories of a early season cold virus that has arrived in the city.
I am not sure whether I am fighting a cold bug or I am just brain tired as I stand in front of a large aisle of chocolate and candy merchandise. Kind of day dreaming slightly, deciding whether I want the milk chocolate with hazelnuts or whether I should go for a darker chocolate. A voice pipes up beside me.
“Is the Lindt chocolate on sale today?”
I turn and catch out of the left of my eye a little old lady standing beside me looking at the chocolate. She basically arrived like from nowhere. I was slightly irritated because I am not feeling that great and I was just not up for talking. I guess you could say I was kind of grumpy.
“You know the dark Lindt chocolate is usually on sale, two bars for five dollars. Is it on sale today?” she presses on in conversation.
I grimace slightly and go off my train of thought to look at the Lindt chocolate for this elderly woman beside me.
“No, it is not on sale today.” I reply.
“Well, how much is it for a bar of dark Lindt chocolate,” she asks.
” It is $3.79 a bar.” I say.
Inside I am hoping this with placate her and I can get back on my own path to happiness with my chocolate bar selection.
“None of them are on sale?” she aks. What about the 85% dark chocolate, is it on sale today?” she persists.
I look back up at the rack and reply with authority. “No, the 85% is not on sale and neither is the 70%” I add, because I noticed it beside the other bar.
“Oh, well what about the 90% dark chocolate?” Is there any 90% dark chocolate?”
I stop myself and glance sideways at this older woman just to check if she has sunglasses on and a white cane. She doesn’t. In fact she was politely dressed and very with it in her appearance and exuded a happy healthy energy. She did seem really old though and now I am slowly gearing myself down because she clearly wants my attention and help.
“Oh yeah, there is a 90% dark chocolate bar. I guess I never noticed that before,” I replied. “Is there one that is your particular favorite” – I ask her.
“Well, I really like the 90% dark chocolate, she replies.”
Since she seems to be such a connoisseur in the category of chocolate, I ask her a question now.
“Isn’t the 90% solid dark LIndt chocolate bar too bitter?”
“Oh no, not at all. My girlfriend she likes the 85% solid dark chocolate by Lindt but it is just more sugar that is the only difference.” she says matter of factly.
Then she adds. “You want to take this every day for your health. It will give you the mental clarity you are looking for and it is very good for your well being.” Her voice sounded so familiar and I knew that she was talking with me as if this moment had been specifically designed just for me. It was a voice filled with a deep knowing and a kindness that my memory is familiar with.
“O.K.”, I respond.
As I start to pick up one each of the 70%, the 85% and the 90% of the Lindt solid chocolate bars, she starts talking again.
“Are you buying all three?” she asks.
“Yes” I snap quietly back. Thinking to myself – who do you think you are my mother? Thinking fast and yet surrendering to this conversation all as a blur of emotions swirl in my mind.
I fall into a stillness, there in the store aisle with all the chocolate as she spoke to me again.
“You only need to take a few squares a day for your health. That is all. It is the cocoa that is good for you, that is the ingredient you want.”
Wait until they go on sale and then buy a few and keep them around at all times and this will help you feel better,” she adds.
I am now fully cognizant of the fact that I have not looked at this woman. I have glanced and make some quick assessments as we all do in the urban jungle of life. However I have this sense that I am almost afraid to look at her face. To look into her eyes. I am thinking this all at a lightning speed in my head as I turn and bravely lock eyes that belong to this soul’s head of white hair.
There they were. Those beautiful soft brown eyes. That specific light brown eye that only I would know. My mouth is slightly frozen open.
She smiles at me. Kindly. Gently.
“You really should try to wait and buy them when they go on sale dear”. With that she turns around and walks away and out the door of the store.
It is an amazing thing – this unique gift of gratitude. I am being shown that if you hold the energy of gratitude in a loving place amazing things can happen in your life. Love ~ put it out there as a gift with no strings attached and situations show up and gift it back to you.
I like this video on John Styn talking at the Tedx forum. His talk is on gratitude and he shares a story of love that is experiences with his Grandpa. I totally get it. My favorite part of this video is towards the end when his Grandfather (now passed on ) speaks of the value in giving.
Have a beautiful day,
Photo: ‘Gods Grace’ PKM