another man in the parking lot
I was going to the liquor store at ten thirty one morning. I hardly ever go, and when I do it is part of my errands. A very elderly man was walking out with a small bag and a cane. I said "How are you today?" and tilted my head towards him. And he gave me the most profound answer. I have no idea if he meant what I thought it did. It resonated with me.
He said, "I'm getting ready." He said it with intent, and with charm. He was not grumpy, he was just telling it the way he saw it. I was left to wonder. I don't know if he was getting ready for a storm, getting ready to meet his maker, or what he was preparing for. He kept on walking or I might of asked. He did not seem unhappy. He was just prepared for whatever was coming and he was comfortable letting me know.
His little bag was part of all of it, whatever it was.
Sometimes I find the simplest, smallest interaction in our day leads me to really think about life. That man's response has come back to me time and time again.
I myself was going to the store to buy a pint of Hennessy to take to Igor's ( he works with us) house because and his wife Marina were having all the staff over to his house. I too was getting ready. When he first came someone asked him if he like Vodka, and he quickly said he preferred Hennessy. I remembered. I was ready. My readiness was for a gathering, a feast, a time of joy. I was lucky.
Being ready. I would like to think I am ready for anything. But I know I am not. There is so much we can prepare. So much we can be ready for. And there are things we cannot be. This is the truth of my life.
I know who I am and what I am like. I will do my best to be ready but I won't spend my days getting ready for I don't know what. I will try not to imagine how things could be, good or bad, because I know that we cannot be prepared for everything. I enter each day like a prayer. Hopeful and ready for good things, to seek out and find the good in others.
Anything else just feels like worry. And I do that too. I just catch myself and pull myself back to what is.
So to the man in the parking lot, "I am ready too in my own way, but right now I am here with you and we are having a moment and that moment is good. Bless you for making me think. For answering my "how are you?" with sincerity and thought. I'll take that. Thank you."
- Deanne Fitzpatrick