Yesterday began like most Sundays. I slept a little later than usual because I was up watching Saturday Night Live the night before. Then I enjoyed a leisurely cup of coffee before getting ready to walk to Memorial Park for a free 11 a.m. yoga class.
First Sunday Yoga for World Peace at Memorial Park is a ritual I’ve engaged in regularly for several years now. Most months, part of my ritual is a frantic last-minute scramble to get out the door on time: Where’s my yoga mat? What did I do with my sunglasses? Oh, I’d better bring a bandana in case I start sweating. Arrrgh! Why do I have to pee again?
It was no different yesterday. I was on my way with just enough time to get there, scout out the perfect ant-free space, and spread my beach towel and mat on the ground.
About halfway to the park, I realized I didn’t drink much water before I left. I was thirsty. It was a warm day, and I worried about getting dehydrated. I contemplated my options. It was too far to go back home, but I could stop at Publix on the way to get a bottle of water. No, I decided. If I was late it might disrupt the class in progress.
I consoled myself with the optimistic thought, Maybe someone there will have some water they can share. Besides, I can make it until after class, I reasoned.
The decision made, I turned my attention to what a beautiful morning it was for yoga. The birds were singing, a cool breeze was coming from the river, my body was anticipating the healing stretches, and my soul was eager to connect with God, nature, and like-minded peaceful people.
When I arrived, the park was more active than usual. Work crews were setting up tents and seating; beer and food trucks were arriving for an Oktoberfest celebration. Making my way down to the corner near the river where the group would be, I wondered if the noise of the generators would make it hard to hear the yoga instructor.
As I approached the yoga group, a man with kind brown eyes turned to face me. In his outstretched hand, he held a bottle. “Hey, would you like some water?” he asked.
I must have looked as stunned as I felt. “Yes, I’m talking to you,” he continued, explaining, “On the way over here, I was thinking what a humid day it is and that people might be thirsty, so I bought a six-pack of water. This is my last one.”
Gratefully, I accepted his offer. “Thank you so much. You have no idea how thirsty I was!”
Throughout the hour of practice, I was filled with a spirit of love and appreciation for the way the Universe takes care of us when we’re open to receiving. Next time I’m feeling unmet needs, I hope I can recapture the gratitude I felt yesterday for the kindness of a perfect stranger.
- Haiku Time
- Wordless Wednesday # 7