Will Anyone Notice?

by Cynthia Johnson on September 30, 2015

It was early Monday morning and as I sat down on the front porch, the cool air seemed to whisper as it wafted by me, that summer drifted away during the night as we all slept. I felt a bit robbed. Although I welcome the freshness autumn brings, on this particular morning I found myself saddened by the loss of summer as if the air itself was speaking to me, and I didn’t want to listen. I felt almost childish in my irritation that a more serious season was dawning.  The heat radiating through my coffee cup warmed my soul as I attempted to wake up from another busy weekend.  I sat quietly listening to the sounds of a Monday morning in suburbia; the sounds of car doors shutting and the soft rushing of the traffic by sleepy commuters. Children saying goodbye to parents being dropped off at the sitter across the street, the fall air rustling through the trees and the faint sound of the courthouse on main street ringing out to us all its eight o clock—yet this morning it sounded like time itself telling me it’s later than I think.

Dave and I had been sitting in the same place twelve hours before, when he mentioned that he had not seen the old man up the street (he rode his bike every day stopping everyone in his path) and, he added, his house was up for sale.  Perhaps I should say he stopped everyone in their path.  I am not proud to own this, but on many occasions I was in route somewhere else and found myself trying to get away from talking to him.  I think every neighborhood has that person who is the informant.  He was outside watching and reporting to everyone the suspected details the day our neighbor committed suicide.   I am really unsure just how old he was, probably not as old as he seemed.  If I had to guess, I would say he most likely took an early retirement for medical reasons.  He didn’t seem quite right; his reasoning was off although it was not really noticeable at first.  He always warned you of what was coming down the pike, whether the latest flu outbreak or trouble in the neighborhood, still he was friendly but more noticeably, he was lonely. As we sat there trying to remember the last time we saw him, I felt sad and admittedly ashamed.  I wondered silently how I could have been so calloused.  I drive past his house every day, and yet I never put two and two together or even realized I hadn’t seen him.

It seems as if each of us lives in our own little vacuum like the canister that gets sucked up inside the bank at the drive thru and I imagine we as people are much the same.  We get sucked back into our own life, each moment with its own mission; a direct route to something, someone or somewhere.

As I sat there pondering my unattended relationship with the rest of the world, I began noticing everything and everyone passing by: some fully taking in their surroundings chirping out a cheerful good morning to me, some walking by holding a leash with one hand and gripping their cell phone with the other.  People getting their morning workout, head phones pumping their blood with music keeping them in exercise mode—all plugged into their own private world like astronauts tethered to the space capsule while floating around outside of it.  I can’t say they are “unfriendly” they are just not where they are; they are somewhere else while they are somewhere else.  Just like I  am and probably just like you.

Still, I don’t think anyone should go unmissed if they don’t show up one day and especially not for months, but how do you know someone is missing if you aren’t there to notice?  I know full well the importance of being present and it is one of the main goals I encourage in others, and is the simple and fundamental definition of spiritual awakening; being awake and fully aware of what is happening in each moment, not just within, but all around us.

Time passes predictably yet what occurs within any allotment of time is not really very predictable at all.  We may know on any certain morning that we have a dentist appointment or a job to go to or that there is a high probability of rain, yet what happens in the crawlspaces between known occurrences often goes unnoticed.  Of course I am not the first to make this point, but life happens while we are on our way somewhere else or trying to make life happen.   Be sure you look up from your importance and the details of your own life every once in a while before you miss something, or more importantly before you don’t.

Until next time,


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