for the first time in nine days i went to the grocery store. i had a heightened sense of awareness of how everywhere i touched or breathed might possibly contribute to the corona sadness.
i was shopping with great intention, purpose and love for five at my house, for my parents, my mother-in-love, and a neighbor.
the shelves were mostly full. store workers were busy replenishing new items on shelves. shoppers were busy removing them.
there was a sign “practice social distancing” with a stick figure human and arrows designating the recommended six-foot spacing.
some shoppers wore gloves and masks, some did not. some carried their groceries, some used grocery carts. a few shoppers had children with them, most did not.
i was overwhelmed.
in aisle one, just twenty footsteps into the shop, tears started streaming down my unmasked face.
in the corner of the store–offset–a tower of assorted flowers smiled at me, an unusual quantity. each bucket full to the brim with flowers. perhaps no one found them because they were not in their usual place? perhaps no one wanted them in case they might spread germs?
i picked up three bunches, put them in my bag, well-away from my face, lest I breathe on them and cause unintended harm to those i planned to give them to.
i began to cry again. the sight of the flowers, in the corner– unwitnessed, unwanted.
then i found the garlic. we had needed some for weeks as I had forgotten to get some the last time i went shopping. i picked up the perfect little white bundle and looked at the tag.
product of china.
i held it in my gloved hands.
this activated my tears again.
my heartmind racing with loving thoughts to whomever had been involved in the growing, watering, gathering, packaging, and shipping this little bundle of garlic–a gift that now was about to star in my spaghetti sauce and stir fry.
i paused and considered all of the people behind all the machines and transportation involved in satiating my desire for garlic. i wondered if any of them were suffering or suffered because of corona.
i continued on, realizing i needed a shopping cart after all, and also grateful that there was “enough” to warrant one.
i traded a dollar for 4 quarters with the shop worker, breaking the 6-foot sign recommendation. at my shop i need a quarter to rent a cart.
with my alcohol misted and wiped shopping cart, i continued to walk through the shop, mindful not to touch anything unless i was going to buy it.
i noticed the sign advising customers could take 2 of any one meat item, and a quantity of four meat products in total.
i checked the paper good aisle for toilet paper… none there yet.
i had finished my hunting and gathering, different but somehow alike our prehistoric ancestors.
as i walked to the check out with a very full cart another unmasked shopper stopped me, “Excuse me, where did you get the flowers?” she asked. I smiled at her and told her where they were hidden.
She smiled at me and walked away. Through this simple exchange we unknowingly shared our quiet commitment and connection to beauty.
i hope you are finding beauty in unusual ways each day, dear ones.