This weekend I went to eat at Chipotle. For those of you unfortunate enough not to have one nearby, Chipotle is a chain restaurant that has giant burritos, with beans, rice and meat wrapped in tortillas. You stand in line and order at the counter, and it winds up being about a $10 lunch. It seems like a lot of money to pay for rice and beans, but they almost always have a line out the door. Anyway, I like it.
I went at a time when there was not a line out the door, and the woman who rang me up complimented me on my scarf. We chatted about it- I bought it at a thrift store, it had started out as yellow, and I had dyed it with acid dyes. She told me that when she was in her 20’s, she had owned a tie-dye business, and had been a weaver. We chatted about fiber arts for a few minutes as she punched the buttons on the cash register.
She then surprised me by saying, “You know what, I’m going to comp your drink, it’s such a pretty scarf.”
I thanked her, and sat down. I was delighted. What a tiny thing to do, have an interaction and give something away for free. But what a difference it made in my day. The compliment was what mattered to me, rather than the free iced tea. Although I didn’t turn it down.
We all have the power to notice, to really see and hear the people we interact with. To take time to see the connections between us, and to make the connections more tangible by mentioning them.
As I said, the restaurant was not at all busy that day, and if there had been people in line behind me, we wouldn’t have had that interaction. When we get busy, we forget to listen to the people in our world, we all become cogs in the machine.
I’m grateful that the woman doing her job at Chipotle took the energy to see me as a person, to give me a gift bigger than a free iced tea.
I want to remind people that I’m in a book- I wrote a few essays in Musings of a Yoga Community, a collection of stories by the group of women I practice yoga with- I’m really proud of it, and I hope you’ll grab a copy. If you are local to Northern Colorado, there are copies available at Wildroots Apothecary, and at Dream of Flight Yoga Studio, both in Loveland. If you are far away, you can order from State of Grace Yoga.