She was walking purposefully, and I could see her coming from about an eighth mile away. She appeared to be about my age, but I am only basing that on the silver streaks in her short hair; it reflected the early morning sunshine enough to conclude that hers was the same color as mine, but she walked faster than I do.
I was stuck at a light, red, to be exact. From my vantage point, I could see down the street to the next light, but the walking lady was the only other human in sight. Her arms were pumping to and fro, and it was clear that the lady was walking for exercise, not pleasure.
It was only six in the morning, but spring was turning on her charm. Looking down the street, I saw flowering crabapple trees with branches reaching out just over the sidewalk. They needed a trim, but we give flowering trees a pass regarding their intrusion into our pathways.
We’d be frustrated if a pine branch dragged across our head; we might even talk to the homeowner about clipping it back. Flowering trees are more acceptable intruders. It goes to show that it does matter how you present yourself.
As I accelerated, I watched the walking woman because there was nothing else to do for those few seconds. I glanced in the rearview mirror to check the load in the truck’s bed, ensuring the straps held tight to the dunnage I was hauling off toward camp.
Just before I passed her, she abruptly stopped as if she had forgotten something back at the house. It caught my attention. She spun around and shuffled back to the protruding pink blossooms of the flowering crabapple tree. She reached up and pulled down a single limb, putting it next to her nose and inhaling intentionally. With that, she let go, pivoted, and got back on pace, arms pumping and legs stretching further forward to compensate for the lost seconds.
It made me smile. My passenger had missed it, and I tried to explain that someone was taking the time to stop and smell the roses. I substituted the word roses for the crab apple branch merely because I didn’t want to explain it any further. He hadn’t noticed any of the stopping, the spinning, or the sniffing.
I turned up the radio and sipped from my paper coffee cup. The coffee stop was the very reason I was stuck at that light, looking down the long street and witnessing a woman living the age-old adage.
She almost missed it but thought better about it. Then, she made the time before finishing what she had started.
There is a lesson there for all of us. Adages become age-old for good reason.
From the Jagged Edge of America, I remain,
*Thanks for reading the Newslog, supporting the coffee fund, and purchasing and reading my books. I am thankful for all of you- Tim