Learning to pause and be there for unexpected grace

By March 31, 2017Uncategorized

Wanted to share a kodak moment of the heart.
I had come uptown to the School of Practical Philosophy for a meditation class. I usually ride my bike, so taking the subway is a new adventure. I had slipped on the ice a couple weeks earlier, and got banged up. So I was moving kind of slowly. My lesson for right now, is to slow down. Slow Down. Take in the world around me, from a place of being present. My inner dialogue is, oh fuck me. I just want to get back on my bike and ride. My leg was too much of a mess for that.

I’m coming up 79th Street and pass/notice this fragile old woman, unevenly stepping off the curb, in the middle of the block. I kept walking, and looked back at her, thinking she was going to hail a cab, but then saw that she was crossing the street against the light. There was this lull in traffic that she was going for, but cars and trucks started coming at her.
I muttered to myself and hopped over to help her cross, stopping traffic going west, since she was moving at a snails pace.
As we shuffled towards the curb, I realized she was my lesson for the moment. Her name is Margie and she is fierce. I got that I came early to be doing this right now, and continued to walk with her, arm in arm, ever so slowly, up to Park Avenue. I was noticing everything with a new sense of caution. The steep uneven incline of the sidewalk, people jogging at us, staring at their iphones, the kids running by and then the strong wind, just pushing down on us. I realized, my hyper-sensitive take on this wasn’t serving the situation. Margie would tug me closer, for stability and that would be a call for my own grounding.

The building numbers weren’t making sense, oh man, the doctors office was in the other direction, so we headed south. She kept telling me, if she was going too slow, I could go on. I told her my lesson right now was to go slow, so this was just fine.
As we made our way, across the street the other way, Margie shared that she was late for her appointment, that she hoped Valerie would get her in anyway. Valerie usually takes care of her when she’s there, she even calls her a car service to get home.  I was walking in measured steps into the wind, Margie asked me to speed it up. We were both walking with a limp. I told her of my bike accident, and how I needed her cane. she laughed and said, so we’re two blind goats sharing the same cane.
Upon arrival, we found the offices to be closing. Her doctor gone and her appointment probably for another day. She was going through her bag, looking for the appointment card, while the office people were asking us to leave. I started to get nervous, as to what would come next, Valerie wasn’t there, how is she going to get home, I was forgetting Margie’s resourcefulness. “Well, I’ll just get the crosstown bus and maybe go to dinner”.
…and so we made it back over to Park Ave and back down to Lexington. We chatted about doctors and insurance and life.You know, they told me I have to gain some weight. I have a good appetite, I haven’t lost any, so I think I’m doing okay. She was winded, but was looking forward to having meatballs and spaghetti at the restaurant on her block, up by Broadway and 102 Street.  It took a little bit more and I got her back on the crosstown bus, and so she was off.  We spent an hour together. Her name was Margie, she’s 90 and is fearless.

What an elegant spirit this woman has. How grateful I was to be able to pause for this moment to unfold.