Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Every morning, rain or shine, he's there. Tattered leather gloves, jean jacket, faded jeans, work boots, graying beard.

I take the same route every morning; from my son's elementary school, to the local coffee shop and back home to take care of our triplets. And on my way to the coffee shop, I drive on an avenue that dissects the city of Fargo... and there he is, on his morning walk... every morning I drive by. He's a man that appears in his 50s and always has a pensive look on his face.

I've often wondered - when I'm not too absorbed in my own life - what is on this man's mind. What has been and is going on in this man's life? What's been the challenges, heartbreaks and joys of his days? What brings that pensive look to his face? Obviously, I most likely will not be pulling over to the side of the street and asking him any time soon. So this morning-walking life will remain a mystery...

As I enter my morning coffee shop (Caribou Coffee on 25th Street), I wonder how many regulars in this shop look at me and wonder the very same thing. What's been the challenges, heartbreaks and joys in my days? We so often cruise through our days, pensive and focused on the singular life we live. And that is not uncommon as it's the only shoes we wake up in each morning.

But what if we chose to take one day a week in our life to try to find out what is truly going on in the lives of those around us? Imagine someone asking us at work or in social gatherings, "How are you these days? What's been new and exciting and frustrating for you?" Imagine the permission that would give us to clear our chest, our mind and our heart. What a wonderful feeling to know there is someone else out there trying to empathize with our journey.

One of the greatest ways to better understand this journey known as our personal life is to better understand the context in which it is journeyed... amidst the intersecting of so many other journeys, so many other lives, and so many other morning walks.

hoedl's haven
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