All I wanted to do was buy some sheets and pillows.  Sleep Country delivered my new bed today but I hadn’t acted on accessory purchases.  Actually, the bed’s not for me.  It’s for my guests Renato and Geraldine, who are coming to live in my home while I roam the continent on various adventures.

I had been thinking Walmart for the extras.  Gotta save a few bucks here and there.  But as I drove into London today, I realized that I wanted my visitors from England to have the good stuff.  So I opened the Sleep Country door and walked in.

From a distance, a woman in her 60’s said hello.  A real hello.  As we talked about bedding, I felt a great peace wash over me.  This wasn’t about sheets.  Johanna was just sitting there … being.  We talked about Vancouver, where she’s from, and where I’m heading to in August.  But this wasn’t about walking in Stanley Park or strolling down Robson St.  My goodness, what was happening here?  Her stillness became mine.  Lovely.

Johanna said that there’s nothing she wants to achieve.  She’s done that.  Her daughter urges her to get out into the community and attend events, meet people.  But Johanna feels no need to do that.  She wants to be with her family, loving them.

Johanna told me that many angry people walk into her store.  They want service, they want product, they want to pay and go.  I saw sadness in her eyes as she shared this with me.  After awhile, when we had discussed the different qualities of duvets and the merits of bamboo sheets, we didn’t have much to say to each other.  Words were necessary for the transaction but we didn’t need many to be with each other.  I asked her if she would like a copy of the book I wrote about Jody.  No, she didn’t want one.  And her choice to not receive our story was so very peaceful for me.  Johanna has written her own story in the many moments of her life.

I came
I bought
I melted

One thought on “Johanna

  1. Hi Bruce, enjoyed this story…one reason is that Johanna is my daughter’s name and Renato is my brother’s name..not a significant connection but nevertheless…..didn’t have your email address so I am thanking you here for your book…Pam at St. David’s made sure I received it. My husband and I recently returned from a 4 week road tour out west…got as far as Nelson. BC. Where we stayed for 10 days with a friend of mine. In Banff, we stayed at the Banff Centre for the Arts…a very interesting place and at the Banff Springs hotel (one night only!) . Every time we drove by a cyclist, I thought of you..remembering you telling me of your wish to cycle from the west coast to home. Wishing you well

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