At the grocery store today as I waited in line the woman behind me says:

“I really like your feathers. It takes the edge off…… It is so creative. My husband almost died this week from the flu. I had to lift him up and out of bed so many times. I had to really care for him and I am a lawyer and felt taking my medications while driving him around (which I don’t usually have to do) would be bad- you know- mixing drugs and driving. Anyway- the great thing is I went off those meds and I felt BETTER! My doctor couldn’t believe it.”

I inch toward the cashier.

“You know, you seem to have a great attitude. How do you do that? When my husband got sick I was grumpy and mad. I am so small and he is HEAVY! Even last month when my ankle hurt so bad I was miserable and…”

Creep another inch.

“….NOTHING I did made a difference. You look so stylish in that hat. I noticed you in the produce aisle…’

My neck hurts from trying to be gracious and look back at her as she speaks.

“I am relieved my husband is on the mend so I can get back to work and things seem more normal but……”

Finally get to pay and retreat. Rolling out the door I spot the first pansies being offered for sale. A HARBINGER OF SPRING AT LAST! Every darn thing feels perfect after meeting those pansies.

Everything changes. Life is good.

And not.

And then good again.


5 Responses to “Harbinger”

  1. Nina on January 19th, 2015

    You are a beautiful writer!

  2. Rita Kindl Myers on January 19th, 2015

    I have sometimes wondered, ‘why is it that riding around in a wheelchair, or using a walker allows people to feel so comfortable that they tell me so many different stories, usually stories about health having gone bad or how rough life can be. I don’t solicit the stories. It just happens to me often.’

  3. KK on January 19th, 2015

    People need so much to be heard, to be understood. Sometimes I get tired of listening, but people need to be heard.

  4. Judith Henry on January 20th, 2015

    Hi, Cathy,
    I’ve been a silent fan of your blog for quite awhile, but this piece made me want to speak up. It’s eloquent in its simplicity. Life can change in an instant so how important it is to take a snapshot in our minds of all the beauty that’s around us.

  5. Gay on January 28th, 2015

    Thank you for this one, Cathy. And for all your writing. Reading this one it was easy to picture where you were, your feathers, and even this woman who was talking. I like that you made it so simple by not including your replies.

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