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  • breathe deeply

    A young woman looked at herself in the bathroom mirror; the choices she had made had led her to a dark place. She rose on sunny days only to see clouds and haze on the horizon. She needed to think, to breathe, to find inner peace and a new way forward. Without a second thought, she borrowed a friend's car and started driving in any direction away from home.

    Right turn, left turn, straight through uncounted intersections--she drove without taking in her location. She was startled out of a daydream-like state to recognize where her subconscious had taken her: the Causeway, a long, low toll bridge that connected the mainland to the tourist beach area. Too late to turn back, she tossed the requisite change into the bin and began to cross.

    Once on the spit, most tourists turned left to select any number of beach areas, all littered with kitschy restaurants and bars. Instead, she turned right into a protected nature reserve that was rarely visited by anyone but the most intrepid of hikers and campers. No lifeguards were to be found anywhere in this section of the beach, no Applebee's, no pubs, and the roads were prone to flooding at high tide.

    A few minutes of driving through the reserve brought her to a small parking lot. She parked the car and wondered at the situation she now found herself in. A born land-locked Northerner, she had recently learned about tides and knew that she would shortly be cut off from the main spit and at the whimsy of nature until the tide receded. No one knew where she was. It was the beach, the last area of the planet she ever wanted to visit.

    It was precisely what she wanted, what she needed.

    Picking up her sweater, she locked the car and carefully made her way toward the water. For the first time in her life, she encountered sand dunes, and she took the time to appreciate all that they were: a foundation for the spit against tidal erosion as well as a thriving ecosystem for myriad beach life forms, as well as the most beautiful Earthly creation she had ever seen. Instead of traveling farther in toward the water, she chose to rest among the dunes to watch the tide roll in and the seagulls dance. No other person wandered the beach to interrupt her musings.

    It was early evening when her stomach rumbled. The tide had dropped again and she knew it was time to go, surprised to realize so many hours had passed. It seemed as though only minutes ago she had settled in at the beach. She couldn't recall any one particular thought other than the the serenity of this place and the peace she felt settle within herself. The tides had called to her soul, and she had listened. "We are strong," they said. "You are also strong. Nothing can stand in our way."

    With the song of the crashing waves in her heart, she returned to the car and drove home, never looking back. She didn't need to--everything she ever needed to learn about life, she learned sitting quietly among the dunes and the tide, listening to and learning from the universe.

    On The Wagon

    After assisting a particular customer at work, I moved on to the next customer, not giving any more thought to prior transactions. It's what I do: I help people, all day long, even if they're extremely upset or generally unpleasant.

    The aforementioned customer was exceedingly polite all through our engagement, which isn't anything special. However, he felt I went above and beyond to help him. After reaching his car, he picked something up and came back into the store because he had decided to give me "a little something."

    He gave me a "Repent and be saved" pamphlet.


    He said he just knew there was so much goodness in my heart, that he felt I needed to give myself over to Jesus (his words) and that this little pamphlet would help me find my way.

    All of this makes me wonder, is there some sort of Jesus-dar that scopes out the non-believers?

    I said nothing to any of our customers, ever, concerning religion, as my beliefs and opinions are none of their business. If anyone wishes me a "blessed day," I thank them kindly, and I appreciate the gesture regardless. I do not believe that kindness and good manners are restricted to Christians, and am puzzled by this man's actions.

    Or was he making an assumption based on my general appearance: black hair, dark green nail polish, and funky jewelry? If so, then that opens a whole 'nother kettle of worms.

    Ideas, input, information, and/or objections requested.

    days of our lives

    A short while ago, I posted about an incident at work in which my coworker spoke her mind about immigrants, Hispanic immigrants in particular.

    To sum up, she expressed her opinion regarding Hispanic immigrants and migrant workers, in front of a customer who did not speak English, to a fellow employee. I chose to turn my back on the situation rather than say anything at all, only to later regret not shutting her up.

    I recently learned that the coworker at the receiving end of the rant filed an EO complaint against her, an investigation was done, and she was fired. I was listed in the report only as "another employee who was there."

    While initially shocked at the outcome, I was pleased that my employer takes a zero-tolerance stand on discrimination. I have long held the belief that if you are being paid for your time, then while "on the clock," your company's beliefs and policies are your beliefs and policies. You want to be different, do it on your own time.

    I also felt I needed to say something to the other employee. It was imperative that he know that I did not agree with what was said, and that I just didn't know what to do. Today, I got my chance. I the storage area, I bumped into him and took the opportunity. I told him how I felt, that I live in a very diverse, working-class neighborhood, that my family is full of colour and diversity as well. He said he could tell by my actions, and that's why he didn't tell them my name. He reminded me that we had chatted a bit before that had happened, and he felt he had a "good read" on my personality. I told him I just wanted everything to be good between us, and he assured me we were alright.

    A very heavy weight has been lifted from my conscious, and that's a very good thing.