August 10, 2009
Doughnuts and Dialogue
Some people like to ride their bike on wide open roads, others prefer paths, when I ride I like side streets and communities. I love taking my time and really taking in my surroundings. Today I noticed something while biking through the neighborhood, I was reminded that random kindness still exists.
Throughout my ride I passed people on the sidewalks, in their yards, and riding bikes. Majority of the people actually smiled, nodded a hello, or said hi. It was so refreshing to see that people still reach out to others, even if for only a thirty second exchange. You see this often when hiking (outdoorsy people are super friendly) but not so often in the urban streets. That's why getting into the neighborhoods is so enjoyable to me.
Beyond the casual hellos I was also treated to a heartwarming exchange at the doughnut shop. I stopped in to get a little fuel (aka gluttonous treat) and sat down with my doughnut and coffee. A few tables down sat four friends. All in their 60's or so you could tell they had been friends a long time. I also gathered from their conversation that the breakfast gathering is something they do every day. I smiled to myself as I was leaving, feeling lucky to observe what a cool connection these people seemed to have.
As I was picking up my tray one of the gentleman looked over and said "You're not leaving so soon, are you?" and from there they asked all kind of questions and I got to know them if only for a brief time. At that point I recognized that when people let down their guard and just say hello rather than judge or put up barriers we are able to reclaim our sense of community.
It was a good day.