I recently stopped by a local coffee shop to grab a soy chai. It was a typical day, I was going through the motions. A woman ahead of me was attempting to order, without speaking. Yes, no speaking, only hand gestures.
She communicated her order fairly smoothly. It was apparent she was a regular. When handed her drink, she walked to the side to add her milk and sugar. That’s when things got loud. She was banging carafes around, metal thumping on wood, glass clanging against metal. The sounds were punctuating orders for lattes and chats between friends. Then it occurred to me, this woman was deaf. She was unaware of the cacophony of sounds. My next thought…how often do I, do we, hearing intact people do this? All the time. We clang, rush, close ourselves off, mindlessly going about our day.
The stark parallel between not being able to hear and not listening was made so strikingly clear to me in that short encounter. I think of this day, this woman, when I catch myself disconnected, preoccupied with my thoughts. She unknowingly, taught me a life lesson over lattes.
So, today I took a moment on this unusually warm Winter’s day just to sit outside on my deck. To feel the sun on my face. To hear the wind in the elm trees. To think of this woman with gratitude. Give yourself a moment today, as well, and let me know how it went. Namaste.