Oprah would call it a "lightbulb" moment, Dr.Phil an "Aha!" experience. To me, it was a gentle reminder of a lesson I've learned but had forgotten.
This morning it snowed. A lot. I looked out the window and my heart sank. All my beautiful flowers planted (prematurely, I'll admit) in the front garden were covered in 10cm of thick, heavy snow. And I had slept in. I rushed around the house, dragging out the sweaters I packed away two weeks ago and packed a lunch. I was feeling irritable and stressed and annoyed...at nothing and at everything.
Brian was driving me to work today and so he headed outside to brush off the car while I finished putting my lunch together. I went to the door to put on my shoes and saw him across the street. "What the hell is he doing over there?" I thought, "Doesn't he know I'm late!" I felt grumpy and a little annoyed that he wasn't doing what needed to be done so I could get to work on time.
Brian was across the street talking to the old woman whose townhouse faces ours. When I saw him take the broom out of her hand and proceed to brush all the snow from her sidewalk, I stopped and watched. She stood there looking old and frail and happy as he cleared the snow and then beat the broom against the tall tree in her front yard, releasing it from the weight of the heavy snow. A big branch had already fallen from the tree and he picked that up too and took it away to the dumpster.
As I stood there on this January/May day I not only fell in love with Brian all over again, I realized how quickly and easily we fall into selfish behaviour. I wasn't late for work this morning, I still had my coffee and a little old lady has a renewed sense of community and a back that doesn't hurt.