Wednesday, December 9, 2009

the lady at the supermarket

(where the tears live)

i was whizzing with my trolley, full of goodies, mind hours ahead, planning, ticking off lists...

and then i looked over and saw her.

She was moving slowly with her trolley.

Not much in there. Small packets. One portion meals.

Her legs, under her calf length skirt, were bruised in that spreading crimson way that only elderly papery skin can be.

Sensible soft shoes.

Pale blue grey easycare fabric top, to match the skirt.

Her hair curled at the front, a perm past it's best. The back still flat. Probably no one sees, it to tell her.

Her shoulders were rounded.

Eyes difficult to see under her glasses.

And i got those tears that always come when i see someone who looks lonely at the supermarket... when i feel the flood of all the years past... the sense of all the things gone.

She was walking past the beer fridge.

There were two big strapping Polynesian men in front of the beer. Bare strong arms, tattoos, dark glasses...chatting, laughing, just resonating life and vigour.

And she walked up to them.

And she changed before my eyes.

She asked for help to lift a 6 pack from the top shelf.

And she chatted and giggled with the boys who were falling over themselves to help her, smiling and engaging with this friendly alive woman.

And i found my eyes filling up again, in celebration of community, of reaching out, of love in all its forms.