parking lot meditations, 12/22/20, 7:36pm est

I’m sitting alone inside my car. Just outside of Kroger (a grocery store), a dude plays Christmas music with a woodwind instrument. Ain’t nobody paying him no mind, just grabbing baskets and Purell wipes, likely praying the cranberry sauce is still in stock and the checkout lines ain’t too long. He looks content though, just doing his own thing. As I wonder if I’m right, I smile because I feel a peace within myself. My head hurts a little cuz I haven’t had much water today. My stomach sings the blues cuz I’m ready to go home and eat this free chicken in my backseat. Hopefully, my neighbor comes out of the store soon. It’s chilly. I’m hungry. Roxie, my dog, probably deposited unpleasant surprises on my carpet. But I’m grateful for this moment to pause, to observe strangers who aren’t performing, who may not realize that they’re seen and wondered about. And I marvel at this: I see them, God sees them, and God sees me: all of the regular, yet remarkable steps we take. I have the gift of wonder during a people watch session, the pang of hunger juxtaposed with the simple miracle of daily bread, and the respite of breathing in this car, in solitude without cloth hiding my nose ring and smile. I’m doing the mental math of counting every little thing to remind myself that I’m far more surrounded than I am alone.

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