city river market.

today is beautiful. cooler than it has been recently, with a light breeze, and clouds that keep moving at a semi-rapid pace through the sky. i've been at the city river market here in downtown kansas city, and i feel like i'm in another world. i often forget how much i love this city, how much it has to offer, it's luster. i've come to realize i feel safer and more free in a metropolis than i do in the rolling countryside; though missouri countryside is beautiful and peaceful and good, my soul does better when it's surrounded by motion, by people who are each on their own separate journey, with a destination, sought or unsought.

i found myself sitting on a bench outside of a restaurant this morning as i waited for miss melissa to meet me, and i had about an hour to "kill". (why do we say that, anyway? why do we insist on killing time? as if it's ours to take and murder or something? truth is, it's not ours, and i take it for granted. i waste it.) but not today. nothing about today has been a waste. i happened to notice a little bird float out of a tree and glide to a stop on the brick cobblestone. we'll call him "pete". it was one of those little birds that hops around on the ground, picking at things to see if they're edible, so curious, so inquisitive. i watched pete hop around, moving his head back and forth. i watched pete look at another fellow bird float down from a tree. this one was definitely more plump. we'll call him "luis". i mean, luis was chunky cuteness at it's finest. pete seemed to judge luis. perhaps for having found more food, or perhaps because luis has a contagious gentle spirit about him, something that makes your heart smile when you see it. he was definitely a bit more jolly, like the santa claus character we've knitted into someone famous. 

luis was okay with not being famous, though. but little did he know, i noticed him. after he was done "picking", he stopped at a pot of flowers that had a basin at the bottom with excess water that had leaked out--this became his big cup of water...all his. luis was so excited, he jumped into it. i kid you not. that guy was gettin' down for real. i felt so privileged, believe it or not, to witness such a small part of God's creation having a good ole' time.

i always try to soak up everything around me; the people, the scents, the millions of different sounds happening in one instant...everything. but i often forget. i forget that i'm just a minute part of this huge story that God has written and that life is so fleeting and i'll someday wake up to what seems like tomorrow, and i'll be old and gray. there will be more to me than there is today.  i mean, if i make it that far, who knows. 

i heard a quote once that moved me to tears: "every single person has at least one secret that would break your heart. if we could just remember this, i think there would be a lot more compassion and tolerance in this world." i'm not sure who said that or wrote that, but it's simple, yet so profound. 

now i try to remember that, every time someone walks by. i try to smile, engage in them, invite them into my life for that one or two seconds until they pass. i try to envision what their story may be---like i'll put occupations with people. i'll label them as a mother, or father, or sister...etc. i'll wonder what their biggest struggle has been. i guess i shouldn't stereotype, but it's kind of fun to take a guess. it's fun to pretend. it's even better when an actual conversation occurs, and i learn something about them. 

like today, at this coffee shop i'm currently sitting in (which is possibly my new favorite: it has fresh daisies on each table, old, rad chairs, exposed brick walls, sweet artwork, and a big, black, spiral staircase that leads to a loft). so one of the employees that served me had all of these awesome tattoos on his arm, and i asked him about them. one, he said, was just a free-style tattoo that a local artist did without a stencil, without drawing it out first--and it was beautiful. i wanted one just like it. another was just a very simple, graphic bicycle. i asked him if he biked a lot, and he said, "you could say that. in 28 years of living, i've never once owned a car, or used a car for transportation. there's no need when you can just bike or walk, or if worse comes to worse, take a bus in the winter. it's humbling, to walk in the rain, to not be dependent upon a piece of machinery." hm, yeah, you could say that! can you imagine never having bought gasoline? 
i know, right? 

everything inside of me was like, "yessssss!" because i think about that kind of stuff all the time. call me liberal, a hippie, a tree hugger, i don't care. i want to care more about our environment. i want to do interior design that is sustainable and "green". i want to bless God and please Him by taking good care of this place He's given us to use for such a short time, you know? i've slowly incorporated things into my life, since i was in high school...like recycling, using better light bulbs, hanging my clothes out to dry, washing my dishes by hand, things like that...and it's a gradual thing; i'm not saying we all have to completely change everything over night; it's definitely a process of not only changing your lifestyle, but allowing your lifestyle to change your heart. i long for that. 

i read this amazing book while i was in africa. i couldn't put it down, and finished it in about two days (which is saying a lot, considering i was constantly busy chasing the loves of my life around and being a mother to them). it truly changed my mind and heart in so many ways. i love books that do that. the title, you ask? "serve God, save the planet" by matthew sleeth, a former medical doctor in the ER. i won't get on a rant about it, but all i can say is that i highly recommend it and ask that you would at the very least, consider adding it to your library. the scripture sleeth uses to support his point convicts me that this is a valid issue, that it should be our obligation to care more. 

on another small note (pun kind-of intended), three times this week i have been "approached" about possibly playing my cello for His glory. it's proven to me that coincidence is non-existent. everything has purpose behind it, but i've learned that God waits for our hearts to be in the right place before he blesses us with opportunity that we've been countlessly asking for. frickin sweet, right? ahhh. love it. i can't explain how much faster my heart is beating. 

i guess this has kind of been a random rant, but i love amazing days that are spent with a lot of observance and contemplation. i love when God reminds me of the little things, that overwhelm me in a way that provoke me to move, to take action.  

it looks like it wants to rain, yet the sun keeps poking it's way through the clouds. and there's an older man sitting under a tree outside, eating grapes. he keeps brushing something off of his shirt. every time i look out there, he's still brushing away at whatever it is. heh.
i want to go talk to him.
i wonder if i actually will. 


joshua david esqueda said...

yes...the little things are sometimes the biggest things. God will use anything He can to speak to our hearts (whether it be birds or elderly men).

But you said some great things tonight about being a force towards the universe. we must be the light of the world and guide people along their way to God (whether it be a smiling face or a kind gesture).

it's funny because i was talking with someone about how i give money to homeless people and how the homeless people probably use it for alcohol or other temporary pleasures. but seriously, on judgement day, i'd rather Jesus say "ha! he totally fooled you!" than "you didn't feed me when i was hungry. you didn't clothe me when i was naked..."

yes. the alternative for sure.

love in Him,

kate said...

i enjoyed reading your post. we think alike quite a bit. i read that book a while back and really liked it... it hits kinda hard in some spots. its challenging and eye opening.

i'm glad we got to hangout today. you're a beauty.