Thursday, December 06, 2007

The Purple Lady

As I rode the bus through Capitol Hill to downtown for my jury duty the other day, I felt a sense of joy and calm. I don't know why; maybe it had to do with the divine wisdom of my iPod, which shuffled through fabulous song after fabulous song. Maybe it had to do with the fact that I was getting out of the house and away from regular life for a whole day. Maybe it was because I was bobbing my head to the music and closing my eyes and smiling when a particularly good crash of guitars filled my ears. Whatever. I rode the feeling.

That day people seemed especially irritated to be awake and pushing past other people to find a seat on the crowded, steamy bus. I felt for them. Some of them were probably running late. A few might have been hungover, or wrestling with sadness. You just never know with people. In any case, I turned my attention to my music and folks walking down the street. The bus stopped in front of Seattle Central Community College and I looked across Pine to the loose congregation standing in front of the Egyptian Theater.

People were looking down the hill, toward the bus that may be coming any second. Many wore black. They clutched umbrellas and laptop cases. They looked worried and annoyed. One lady, a middle aged woman with dark brown hair stood out for me. She was wrapped in a big purple sweater/shawl thing, and her expression said that she was glad to be here. She looked peaceful. She looked happy.

She looked so peaceful and happy that I smiled. I continued to look at her, drink her in. Then I beamed her a bunch of love.

Then another good song came on.

It was a good morning.

I told my husband about the Purple Lady over dinner that night and he smirked. To illustrate my feeling further, hoping he might believe these kinds of moments are more than hormonal surges, I recounted a story my teacher has told about such a moment. As she tells it, she drove past a garbage truck one morning and was inexplicably overcome with gratitude. He laughed.

I guess not everyone experiences these moments of unaccounted-for grace.

Try it today. See what happens.


TOM said...

Just reading this makes me smile. Thank you!

Kit said...

What a great idea, to be aware of other people and shine gratitude and compassion.
I forgot again. And am grateful for the reminder.