I Only Cared

On Thursday, May 18,2023,at about 3 pm, edt, I'm sitting inside, because outside, everything is wet, damp, from the short thundershower we had a little while ago.  Only the screen door is closed, so I can see outside, and breathe the humid air, as the sun appears from behind clouds.  Tweety the hen is on the porch outside the door, settled where we can see each other, and Speckles the rooster is under the edge of the building, where I can hear his occasional commentary on environmental stirrings.
   Lollipop the cat is probably still in the carport on the hood of my car, where he can see but not be seen.
   It has already been a tumultuous day, full of irritating details that test my patience and require attention RIGHT NOW before anything else happens.
   Thus the scene is set for describing the vignette that inspired this post.
   My casual encounters with strangers happen frequently in the grocery store, where someone is blocking an aisle in front of what I want.  Sometimes I'm the guilty obstructionist, when I'm trying to find something that has been moved, sold out, disappeared, or is changed in appearance.
   I usually try to lighten the mood of the moment with a disclaimer, a "we're in this together" statement, such as, "Whatever you want, it's on the bottom or very top shelf, in the back, if they have it at all, and they have probably changed the packaging."
   This usually gets a smile.
   The other day, I passed a befuddled-looking man in front of the spice rack.  He acknowledged my comment, then suddenly saw what he wanted.  He said I brought him luck.
  "I only cared," I replied, and moved on.
   Since then I've pondered the power of caring, even in the small things and in the moment.  The encounter brightened my attitude and my day.  The stranger got what he wanted, as well as some unexpected good will from a fleeting interaction.
   It has led me to speculate about the many forms of communication that exist outside of and beyond words, sounds, or sight.  Other physical sensations, such as touch, taste, and smell communicate silently but stir internal responses that are varied and hard to describe, but they are unique to each individual.
   I think of other cultures, and of the puzzles of history and the sciences.
  Even the notions of "good" and "bad" show value judgments that split experience into categories of acceptability.
  Does everything balance out in the end, if there is an end, or do white holes in space grow out of black holes, as some astrophysicists claim?  Does the yang in Oriental philosophy contain the seed of the yin, and vice versa, in a perpetually spinning cycle of cosmic balance?
   Expansion and contraction seems the only constant.  In the cycles of time, as we perceive them, there exists infinite creativity, stretching out in multiple dimensions, with more occurring all the time.
  I'm glad Mr. Spice found what he wanted. I hope he enjoys the result.

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