Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Soup for the Soul

It started when  Northern Michigan Recipes: Six Soups for Comfort from MyNorth appeared in my e-mail with an accompanying message from my husband, "Yummmmmm!"

He's right. Soup is perfect in January, yet because I'm healing from consecutive knee surgeries, I still think twice before venturing out. Winter and crutches are a tricky mix, but  a bright blue sky and sunshine on glittering snow were the boost I needed to head to our local food co-op.

I love our co-op. It's perfect for me; small with just four aisles, great organic produce and kind employees. I run into friends and never find myself at the back of the store, zapped of energy, wondering who hid the kryptonite and how in the world I will make it back home?

In the first aisle, a young man noticed a grocery list by the spices and asked if it might belong to me? Two small miracles;  I had brought a list and I still had it. As I was checking out, a cashier came over to ask if I might have dropped my list? Surely a special place for this was the second time I had been asked if the list was mine? After declining a kind offer to carry my groceries to the car, I left the store warmed by these simple acts of kindness.

I carefully made my way along the sidewalk, still smiling, passing an elderly man who smiled back. He stopped and asked , "May I help you with your bags?"

I hesitated, unsure if it was any safer for him to attempt the task, but there was something special in the way he asked and I accepted. Blessings would come with my acceptance.

He helped me to my car and my small bag of fingerling potatoes triggered a summer memory. He told of a visit with a friend who sent him home with fresh garden vegetables. Tucked among the corn and zucchinis were fingerlings. He marveled at those delicate potatoes and for a moment we shared an appreciation for life's simple pleasures.

We said good by.

He surprised me yet again when he began pushing my cart into the store.

"Thank you for your kindness!" I called.

He waved, smiled, and with a twinkle in his eye, left me with these words, "We're supposed to love one another."

On Saturday, January 19, 2013 the U.S. celebrates the National Day of Service in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.. I suspect my new friend celebrates it every day.

In gratitude.