One of the nicest things about living in a small town is how close I am to almost any kind of service I need or want. In the few months I have lived here I have thought on this many times. Take today, for instance. And honestly, you could take today, because it was almost a waste for me, due to a headache that hijacked my afternoon. If it had not been for my evening grocery walk, I wouldn’t have much good to say about this Monday.
I emerged from “headache fog” late in the day to be reminded by the husband that we had no milk. I thought of a few other things that should be on the list and decided to go shopping after supper. Walmart is literally in our backyard, and a second grocery store is about a half mile away, so I took my back pack and walked in search of food.
The store farthest away had one of the items I most wanted to get, so I went there first. The cool air and the act of moving myself rhythmically felt very restoring. It reminded me of the “contemplative walking” I had heard about in doing research for my upcoming Grand Canyon hike. Walking does give me time to think, and thinking makes the distance go so fast. There is also the benefit that I see things with time to look at them, unlike when I’m driving past.
I walked past Lake Hayward where a pair of Canadian geese were already looking for a nesting spot on the small area of open water. The sidewalks and roadsides were covered with dirt left by the melting snowbanks. I passed numerous office buildings, my favorite clothing store, and Dairy Queen. I wondered if an ice cream would be good for someone who had just had a headache for hours…
It didn’t take long to make my purchases at Marketplace and load up the coleslaw dressing, the organic bananas and the oatmeal in the backpack. It is a good thing that I’m carrying some weight on my walks because I’m supposed to be training that way – again for the Grand Canyon hike. (Can you tell that I’m getting a little obsessed with this hike? It’s a bucket list item and I want to do it right.)
Passing Dairy Queen again, I decided to check the DQ app on my phone and, sure enough, I had a coupon for a $.50 cone. I was feeling kind of guilty for not having change with me and having to use a credit card for that small amount, when I checked in my pocket and realized the credit card was no longer there. By now I should realize that when I pull one thing out of my pocket, the phone, more than one thing sometimes comes out – it’s not the first time this has happened to me. I knew it had to be a few yards back, on the sidewalk, but even so I was surprised to find it. It’s a strange feeling to see something you normally guard with your life, glinting in the sun in the distance on the dirty sidewalk.
I thank God, I did get my $.50 ice cream cone and it was good.
The last stop, Walmart, added milk, celery, and raspberries to my pack. A short distance later I was home again.
Why am I writing about this? Because it amazes me and makes me feel noticed when God allows a simple thing to come along and brighten my attitude. Often, he uses a change of scenery, getting outdoors and doing something active to restore and help me feel better when I’ve felt miserable. There will always be times in my average life that are not so great, but God balances them and somehow leaves me feeling blessed and aware of his kindness towards me. It doesn’t take much.