Today was full of conversations, such as how Belmont survived the ice storm, the performance of the Toronto Maple Leafs and neighbourhood condo issues. All of these are fine topics of concern. My ears, however, are usually tilted towards the emergence of other moments, ones that transcend the norm. And there were a few of those today:
1. Walking down Main Street, picking up pieces of garbage on the way to the Diner and back home again. Two small plastic bags full. Quiet satisfaction. For the greater good.
2. Talking to an 80-something Belmontonian at the breakfast counter about raising teenage hell with a friend of his (long since dead). A wistful look in his eye, and a tiny smile of remembrance.
3. On my return trip home, a woman calling out from across the street “Thank you for picking up garbage. It helps Belmont.” (Smile)
4. At the gym, a friend and employee looking me in the eye and saying “The future needs you, Bruce.” (Astonishment. I’d never heard those words before)
5. Getting out of my car in the school parking lot and hearing “Hello, Mr. Kerr” coming out of a happy Grade 6 girl. I felt so welcomed.
6. Seconds later, a kindergarten girl wanting so bad for me to remember her name, and then the two of us taking turns hiding from each other behind a metal post. For a few seconds, our gazes held each other. Contact.
7. A Grade 5 girl asking how my training was going for the ride across Canada and me telling her that I wasn’t feeling too well lately, and hadn’t been training as much as I wanted to. Great concern for me in her eyes.
8. Watching a girls’ basketball game after school, in which our team was being beaten badly. Wondering at how our players continued to push the ball hard and guard their opponents closely. No sagging heads. I was so proud of them.
9. After the game, telling one of the students that I loved seeing her usual reaction after missing a shot or having the ball taken away from her – a huge smile. To which she replied with … a huge smile.
10. Sitting down in the Belmont Arena for a senior citizen dinner – a free meal paid for by the Lions Club to honour us oldies. What a sweet thing to do, I reflected, as I gazed across the sea of local folks.
11. After eating, we heard a fellow sing the classics. And two very senior women at my table mouthed the words to a few love songs. They seemed afraid to sing way out loud, but their hearts were on full display. It was a privilege to witness their memories.
I was above the usual roll and warble of daily life … eleven times. Thankfully I often had the eyes to see these radiant blips. Lucky me. As for tomorrow, whether it’s one moment or twenty-three, I’ll be there.