Are we really STRANGERS?

For months, morning waking contains graveyard-like thoughts: Is my life worthwhile? Meaningful? Will my good health last? Memories…which ones last and why?

Maybe a week ago, I was climbing into my Jeep Liberty and suddenly am surprised to see a man walking in shorts toward the antique shop I just exited – called FOUND – where a LARGE painted fisted finger points at him and the stairs entering  FOUND.

It’s 13 degrees Fahrenheit!

I start to drive out of the parking lot, and abruptly turn in a circle to park in that lot again.  I walk into FOUND, finding that twenty-thirty-something bronzed attractive man. His flashy brown eyes and my gray-blues meet as I vocalize “Aren’t you cold in shorts? Where are you from?” He tells me he’s from Mexico and just came from the gym. Bashfully, I ask if I could take a photo outside so the huge finger can point at his boldness. He requests: “Please send me the photo.” I do. He replies, “Thank you!” If only I was 40 years younger.

A few days ago, I am dancing at a local winery and notice an elderly couple that I sense I have seen/met before. They are both under 5 feet tall, so at the break, I bend down on my knees next to their table to inquire about my familiarity. We’ve figured out it was at the Cortland Country Music barn a few years back. I ask: “How old are you? You dance so well together.” She’s 90 and he is 92…and brags that he has 20/20 vision with no need for a hearing aid. I am inspired to live another 20 years, and leave saying to them, “Don’t say no one has gotten down on their knees for you!” Laughing together, no longer strangers.

Then, yesterday, I was possessed by the idea to buy a small rug (3 ½ x1 1/2 feet) that would fit perfectly between 2 other much larger rugs in my bedroom: covering the ugly indoor-outdoor dirt-brown-wall-to-wall carpet. I drive to Mimi’s Attic, my usual go-to-gently-used furniture store where I bought one of the other 2 rugs covering most of the unpleasant installed carpet. The usual box of rugs has no small rugs; disappointed, I wander around until my eyes settle on a small rug hanging over a room dividing rung. The colors would blend with my other 2 rugs, connecting earth tones of red, yellow, orange and bluish gray. The rug’s label reads “Iranian prayer rug.” Being raised in a christian fundamentalist religion that I rebelled against and left at age 38; I am still healing from their strange abusive use of prayer. (I do ask the Universe to keep me safe on longer drives, and to send healing love to ill friends.) I sleep one night on my decision to buy the rug which now lies quietly between the two larger rugs, fitting perfectly.