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    Saturday, May 12, 2007

    Serendipity

    I've been looking for catnip plants or seeds recently. I had tried mal-wart and the dollar tree, when I finally decided that since the specialty pet store was just next door, I would have to give in and go where things are ever-so-much-more-expensive and buy some there.

    Walking around the store, I couldn't find the kitty toy specialty aisle, so I had to ask for help. I was directed to another employee who tried her best to find what I needed. She was feeling up packages and toys that said "catnip" on them in the vain hope that it would feel like seeds, and looked everywhere on the two measly end caps that served as the kitty toy area in her store. She expressed concern over the lack of kitty stuff, as she was a cat person, and seemed genuinely disappointed that she couldn't find what I needed. Then she asked how many cats I had and the real beauty of the day began to unfold.

    "I don't have any cats." I told her; "I plan to grow it as an insect repellent.". She seemed surprised "Really?" she said, "Yeah, it's proven to work better than DEET in scientific studies, and it's all natural and non-toxic." I replied. "Wow" she returned. "But you have to be careful and make sure it is contained because it will literally take over your yard", I tell her. "It is a member of the mint family, another name for it is cat mint.". "Oh, I remember that stuff! My grandmother used to have it growing all over her yard and she'd get upset with me for trying to eat it all the time." She chuckles with the memory and goes on "She was Native American, and she'd make the greatest tea out of it that would make you feel so good and refreshed. She taught me all about stuff like that when I was little. I don't remember how she made it exactly or anything, but sometimes, I'll be driving by somewhere and I'll smell it, and the memories all come back" She smiles. "I bet she was one of those folks who had dried herbs and flowers hanging upside-down from her kitchen ceiling." I say. She shakes her head slightly "no" she says quizzically with a puzzled look, then "yeah, before her accident, she did!" More smiling. I tell her that I figured that was the case because you always know that a person with herbs and flowers hanging in the kitchen to dry will know how to make you feel safe, comfortable, and at home. She takes my hand in hers and pats it gently on the top with her other hand. "She used to do this, and tell you everything was going to be alright and not to worry" her eyes start to well up. "Oh that's the best" I say, tearing up a bit myself. "Thank you for sharing" I say "and for trying to help find those too", I add as an afterthought, smiling. "thank you for coming in" she says, and leans in for a hug. We share a warm embrace, both of us touched deeply by the experience. She tells me to come back in sometime, and I leave the store.

    Serendipity.

    The gods work in mysterious ways to spread joyous comfort and friendship. I don't think that young woman and I will ever forget each other.

    Have you ever gone somewhere, just because you felt you should, and ended up touching a life or awakening a happy memory in a complete stranger?

    2 comments:

    Andrea said...

    PetSmart always has the plants but I don't think they have the seeds. Which store did you go to?

    Whimspiration said...

    Gonna have to check petsmart then. They may be my only hope :P