I believe in miracles. Big miracles and small miracles. I’m particularly grateful for the mini miracles, the ones that occur every day: waking to a message from someone I love, thinking of a person then turning the corner and bumping into them on the street, free coffee from my favorite baristas…
Mostly, I’m grateful for finding connection in seemingly strange places. That’s what miracles are to me: connection. Connection with fellow humans, connection with animals, connection with nature…connection. Our capacity to connect makes us who we are.
I’d like to share a small miracle that occurred a few weeks ago, on a seemingly ordinary Wednesday. I began my day at a coffee shop, using paper napkins to write my morning affirmations. I finished at noon and walked to “Le Basket,” a grocery store on the corner of West 3rd and Broadway, one with an affordable and delicious hot bar.
While walking, I repeated the affirmation I’d been writing under my breath to myself. By the time I walked through the door, I’d repeated it ten times and could feel the effects.*
*For the record, the affirmation I was working on at the time was, I am proactively healing my body. I am creating a healthy body, and I am restored to balance. Currently, I’m channeling the following: I always nourish myself lovingly and intuitively and I am free from all disordered eating. I’m finding that the nourishment I speak of is much deeper than food – but that’s another story.
I filled my container with items from the hot bar – carrots and gravy and salmon and mushrooms and probably some chicken-and-broccoli – prepping for a party in my mouth, then I closed the lid and paid. My total was $9.33. I gave the cashier a ten, adding, “keep the change.”
The back of the building holds 3 round tables: small, smooth, and silver. I’d planned to take my food away, but I decided to take a pause, fueling up where I was before continuing my “travels.”
I peered at my table options. One full, one empty, one with an older woman eating alone. She had white hair and a gentle demeanor.
“Do you mind if I join you?” I asked. “Not at all,” she replied, and I sat.
I slurped down my first spoonful and she asked if I was a student. “Yes,” I affirmed, and we launched into discussion about our two lives. I told her about my work in school; she happened to be an alum. She had gone there for her PHD in Social Work and now had a private practice uptown.
I learned that she grew up in New York but went to Michigan for her Bachelors. I learned that while she lives uptown, she continues to visit campus for lunch to nurture her “lingering attachments.” I learned that she has dogs.
We continued sharing stories, never giving feedback, but responding to one another with our personal experiences. Before leaving, she said she’d like to offer me advice but that it didn’t seem like I needed it. Instead, she said, she could offer me friendship, and with that she gave me her card.
I looked down at her name, suddenly realizing that we’d neglected to introduce ourselves. Subconsciously, we’d agreed, for the length of our conversation, to remain anonymous. Upon learning her name, however, the interaction took on new meaning. She had the same name as a friend of mine, one whom I was preparing to meet with, admittedly with great fear. The impending interaction was one upon which I had placed great pressure.
It occurred to me that my new friend reminded me of my old one, and the significance of them having the same name was not lost on me. It felt like a sign from the universe that meeting with my old friend was safe. I felt hugged. I felt held. I had approached this new person with loving, healthy boundaries; of course I could do so again next week.
I could have taken a different route that day. I could have gone to a campus cafe, used my meal plan, and saved that cash. But I honored my body’s tiredness and took the route that was more convenient. I paid a little money, I tipped a little extra – 2 acts that could cause me anxiety – but what I got in return nourished both my body and my soul. I engaged in the exchange of abundance – and the universe gave me a miracle.
In closing, I would like to say that the opinions expressed here are entirely my own; take what you like and leave the rest. If this post spoke to you, I invite you to share it, as recovery is for all.