I had a day off on Thursday–well, not exactly a day off. I teach every year at a specialized industry school and they house this school at Penn State. So, it gives me yet one more excuse to make the pilgrimage to my alma mater off football season. So this year my class was scheduled for 8:00 – 10:00 am and then I was free to leave and head for home.
It was a great class, which is made so by the personalities in the class and how they engage in the subject matter. When I’m finished with a class like that, I always leave on a bit of a high. It feels good to connect with people and feel like you’ve been able to give them something to think about.
So, after I finished I piled into my car and pointed it east toward home. Then a funny thing happened. A woman far wiser than me had encouraged me to work on doing things differently–out of the ordinary–to take risks and break habits formed over the years. Her encouragement popped into my mind and the thoughts of going home, opening up the work laptop and getting caught up on email (yes, I did say I took a vacation day), popped out of my mind. The car veered south toward the town of State College bordering campus. Then another funny thing happened. The parking garage I normally park in was blocked by street construction so I had to park in a different part of town.
I ventured into town on a sunny and 70’s day (yes, I know my good friend from State College–it is ALWAYS sunny and 70’s in Happy Valley!!! 🙂 ). I almost immediately stumbled onto a brand new dedicated Gluten Free bakery. I walked in and thought I had died and gone to bakery heaven. After putting my order in for 3 banana chocolate chip muffins, I waltzed out of the shop feeling like I had just discovered penicillin.
Next, I stumbled onto a beautiful little calligraphy shop with all sorts of neat cards, pins, and wall hangings. I started reading them and found a gem. Here it is:
After awhile you learn the subtle difference
between holding a hand and chaining a soul.
And you learn that love doesn’t mean leaning and
company doesn’t always mean security.
And you begin to learn
that kisses aren’t contracts & presents aren’t promises
and you begin to accept your defeats
with your head up and your eyes ahead
with the grace of a woman, not the grief of a child.
And you learn
to build all your roads on today because tomorrow’s
ground is too uncertain for plans, and futures
have a way of falling down in mid-flight.
After awhile you learn that even sunshine burns if
you get too much. So you plant your own garden
& decorate your own soul, instead of waiting for someone to bring you flowers.
And you learn
that you really can endure, you really are strong
you really do have worth
And you learn and you learn
With every goodbye you learn.
Veronica A. Shoffstall
Wow!! The things you stumble on when you stay open to life’s experiences. How much do we miss by locking into routines? How many people do we pass over because we don’t keep our head up and our eyes and hearts open?
Sorry–got to run and be spontaneous!!!