I vividly remember the day I stood having a conversation with a man that had just moved to town. As the conversation flowed I found myself asking, “Where are you living now?”
“Down the street under a mesquite tree,” he answered.
My heart skipped at least three beats as my mind couldn’t fathom the truth of what he had just said. How could one in my own city be living under a tree? There were houses, hotels, and even shelters.
Something about that made me pause.
It not only made me pause to think about the craziness of knowing a man who lived under a tree, but it caused me to pause at every tree I’d drive by. The thoughts consumed me.
I began to see trees like never before.
I looked at the ground around the trunk wondering how one could sleep there. I’d notice the land — was it flat, hilly, dry or wet?
I noticed trees along side the highway. Trees beside the bay front’s edge. I saw trees.
I noticed the weather.
Winter was approaching. With every gust of wind, I wondered how one shielded themselves from the cold night’s air that was beginning to howl.
The rain that would fall would leave me up thinking of all those living under trees – praying for their safety, dry shelter, and warmth. It’s as if my senses were reawakened to the effects weather played.
This man taught me a lot.
He taught me to be aware. To pay attention to all my surroundings — people, trees, weather.
He taught me to slow down and listen to others. And to ask inquisitive questions as there is so much to learn from others.
He taught me to love others who are different from myself. (you can read more of his and my story in Graffiti the book)
Do you have a hard time noticing the trees, weather, and unfamiliar people as you go through your day?
You can find me over at Lisa-Jo’s Five Minute Friday with a whole lot of other awesome writers.