Monday, June 27, 2011

No Small Feat

Photo Source: Flickr

After 10 months, my commute and daily errand-running have become routine. And the best part? I'm starting to see the same people (albeit strangers) on a semi-regular basis. For a city of nine million people, this feels like no small feat.

As I walk to the bus stop in the morning, I pass a mother walking her son to school, a couple doormen either sweeping the sidewalk or just enjoying the morning air, and a crazy lady walking her Pomeranian. On the bus, I'm beginning to see various familiar faces (none of whom ever make eye contact) and recognize a handful of school kids with their respective nannies, and a certain cluster of women that like to talk very loudly. And if the bus is on schedule, I might even get the same driver a few days in a row.

There's the security guy is the lobby of the building where I work; the cashiers at the grocery store who just speak Spanish to each other and never acknowledge my existence (but that's okay, because they are SUPER fast!); the men who run a copy center next to our apartment building; the lady who works at the bagel place downstairs; the Rite-aid guy who patiently scans all my coupons...

It might sound crazy, but there's something comforting and wonderful about seeing that crazy lady walk her dog each morning. I guess it provides a little something expected in the midst of a very unpredictable environment. It reminds me that our lives are developing a rhythm. And it helps me begin to appreciate this cross-section of humanity, as C.S. Lewis so beautifully explains:
"The truly wide taste in reading is that which enables a man to find something for his needs on the sixpenny tray outside any secondhand bookshop. The truly wide taste in humanity will similarly find something to appreciate in the cross-section of humanity whom one has to meet every day. In my experience it is Affection that creates this taste, teaching us first to notice, then to endure, then to smile at, then to enjoy, and finally to appreciate, the people who 'happen to be there.' Made for us? Thank God, no. They are themselves, odder than you could have believed and worth far more than we guessed." (from The Four Loves