Times of refreshing are beautiful, especially after one has endured a particularly grueling stint in one of life’s periodic mud puddles. God’s refreshing is like a rebirth. Truly amazing are the colors and fragrances that leap out of what before was the dry, peeling fabric of a dull world. A joyful attitude and especially the presence of God bring beauty out of the most arid of environments and circumstances. How can I forget this as often as I do? So now for an extemporaneous list of a few of life’s richer pleasures of the past couple of days, courtesy of God’s gentle breeze.
I think my roommate, Seth, dispensed some stealth blessings for me the other morning. I awoke to find him gone but our only fan not rotating as usual but pointed directly at my bed, providing me as I slept with luxurious relief from the heat (no AC in our room). I also found an extra bag of my favorite snack, Peanuttles, in my area of the cupboard (I hadn’t put them there and I have never seen Seth eat them). I guess he surmised that they were my favorite snack from the several hundred empty bags of the product that have been seen around our apartment on countertops, nightstands, wastebaskets, etc. God bless you, Seth! You are a good friend.
I’ve gotten quite a few broad smiles from some of my nocturnal customers at Plaid over the last two days. Where they had been dealing recently with something of a grouch, all of a sudden they are presented with this exuberant, smiling lunatic with classic rock blasting behind the counter (graveyard shifts are not without their compensations), now inexplicably happy to see them. Two nights ago a young threesome came up with purchases just as an old classic tune came on the radio, “Every Rose Has its Thorns.” I lunged for the volume to turn it up, and my urgency amused customers, who also loved the song and approved of an increase in volume. Before long we were all three singing along with the radio at the top of our lungs! Just as they left, the girl in the group gave me a dazzling smile, part flirting, part recognition of how unusual it was what had just occurred between four strangers.
There’s more, but I’m out of time for this Muse. I’m starting to see a rich pattern emerging in my life. I am a man who loves hearing and telling stories. Now I’m seeing that this job I have, which I have been considering some kind of an imposition, is providing me with lots of my favorite things—stories. And if we examine the literary form, we see that among the elements that make stories interesting are adversity, conflict, bizarre situations and strange characters. All of these things are present in spades with this job. So I suppose I’m starting to see that I can actually consider much of the pain in my life as the prickly building blocks for a fresh round of stories.
OK, I can live with that.