I couldn’t stage moments like today’s even if I tried. For what started as a negative, slow-moving, self-defeating run through the neighborhood; suddenly took an abrupt, unexpected turn.
It was transformed to an adrenaline-filled, heart-pumping, sweat-on-my-brow, smile-on-my-face kind of workout. It ended with double, hand-to-hand high fives with a stranger little girl; who whimsically joined me for a round of stair sprints at the top of Federal Hill park.
Fueled by her spontaneity, her joy, her child-like faith, & complete sense of wonder, she followed in my tracks. She hustled to keep up, squealing as I got ahead. I slowed to give her time, and immediately she was back on my tail. The sound of her laugh as she tripped over the last inch of the climb. The pant of her breath, as she said “Ready?“. Clearly, It was time for round 2–no holds barred.
We descended up to the top again, but this time with less effort, more pace, and more flight in our steps. We joined in simultaneous energy, fatigue, and pure satisfaction of our accomplishment upon arriving at the peak. We ran back down the hill, utterly out of control, and fearlessly letting ourselves plunge forward, returning to the bottom. More double high-fives.
Before I knew it, that was it. She parted with her parents, sending one last look over her shoulder; waving and smiling ear to ear. Nothing more, nothing less.
Ceasing to be able to finish my work out after she parted, I took rest on a nearby bench, typing away on a memo pad on my phone documenting my story of what happened. Mid-writing I am again approached by a stranger, sitting less than a couple feet away from me on the very same bench. What then spawned was an intellectual conversation, with seemingly random connections, and shared interests. The chat was also filled with pauses that were empty, but never awkward. Rather they were spent with simultaneous stares at the blowing trees, children playing, parents onlooking, lovers romancing, and taking in the overall picturesque cityscape in front of us. It was as if, in this moment, time was standing still.
And yet again–before I knew it, that was it. We parted along our separate ways, extending one last handshake, gaze, and an affectionate, “Nice to meet you, too.” Nothing more, nothing less.
It takes a kind of courage to float away and let a moment be fleeting like that. To recognize something sacred just happened, and allow it to be just that (LaPorte).
Caught in seemingly small moments like these, my every doubt, indecision, and fear become absolved. Realizing that my vigor, well being, & strength run much deeper. My purpose far greater and arguably–far simpler, than I try to define on my own.
I’m here for such a time as this. To be salt-seasoning that brings out the God-flavors of this earth. To share the spirit of grace & whimsy like that little girl and that young man did with me today in the park. Reminding me once again that love doesn’t say just things; love does.
Moments are everything.
God-flavors are everywhere.
Don’t miss them.