Okay not really...but today I didn't have to go into the office till later in the day, so I found myself doing things around the house. Allie (my roommate's dog) started barking so I walked over to the kitchen window, that faces the backyard, to see what she was going on about...and there was my elderly neighbor.
He was clapping his hands, encouraging the puppies (Allie and Sapulpa) to chase the beautiful waterfall of leaves falling from the huge oak in my back yard. The puppies were running like crazy trying to chase and catch the gold and red leaves as they flittered to the ground. My elderly neighbor watched, smiling....seemingly sooo happy.
I then watched him turn and walked back into his house. Within a few seconds he returned outside with a basket of laundry....He began to engage in the activities I have seen many times for the last couple of months. He put his laundry out on the line....checked his little garden...walked around the yard (looking for I don't know what)...
And I found myself mesmerized....."I wonder what his life is about? I wonder what keeps him going? Does he have people in his life? I bet he has a really good story?"
He is far from the age where things physically come easy. When he bends or moves...it is with great effort and slow, always intentional. I see him doing the same things almost everyday.
I think I was mesmerized because I was baffled yet intrigued how he, even in his later life, seems to live a life that gets him up everyday. Doing laundry, gardening, etc...can't be enough to wake up to every day...can it?
What gives him hope.... joy?....What emotion or truth gets him out of bed everyday?
So I walked outside...and said hello.
He is a sweet old man that told me he is a widow. He also told me I needed to rake the leaves in my yard...lol He told him he's been retired for 20+ years and his kids live close. He told me he is annoyed about the infestation of rabbits that eat his garden.
He was kind, funny...genuine. yet somehow I really believe deeply aware of the life he was living. And that got me thinking....are we...those of us trying to "create" a life....aware of the kind of life we are trying to live? Do we want to make a mark? Do we not care? Are we striving for success? Or just trying to be noticed?
Are we living?.....or just waiting for someone to notice us? Why is it some of the the most famous, successful people are scrabbling and dying to be scene...and we give them days of headlines, tv and social media .... yet some of the most generous, inspiring, heart warming, lovely people in life.... just do laundry and live out their days...nothing great but tremendously impactful...but hardly noticed.