I'm wholly aware that it's technically not Easter today, but I needed to tell you about this woman I see on my way into work every day. First of all, what you have to understand about where I work is, it’s a maze. It’s your typical human ant hill which every day between the hours of 7-9 am sees thousands of people filter towards; convoys of busses shuttle people from their homes in the outskirts of the city into downtown. It’s a similar momentum at 5:05 pm, except in reverse. There’s a lot of solemnity in the crowd, except for the occasional set of people who have found someone they know amongst the sea of faces. They’re the ones who find a little bit of joy in the “coincidence” of seeing someone they work with on the commute to that same location.
Back to that woman. She’s not one of us – and I mean this in every sense of the word. She stands outside the ant hill as the line of people passes her by. She wears her t-shirt issued to her by the media company she works for, and as she hands out the daily free newspaper, she greets “good-morning” to each and every person as they pass, one by one. There's a bit of intonation to the "good" - it's more like "GOOood mornin'"
That’s thousands of good mornings each day or hundreds of thousands of good mornings each year. I’m not sure how long she’s been doing it. At least a couple years because I remember her from the last time I worked in this building.
She’s got this pleasing southern accent. It’s dulled a bit - probably from many years of living in Canada, but it’s a nice break to the stream of monotony as people get off the bus and enter the building.
She’s not fazed by the fact that most people don’t even look her in the eye as they pass – that’s what gets me most. I don’t know about you, but in comparison, I’m kind of snotty about my “hellos.” I’m pleasant until someone isn’t pleasant back and then I’m prone to make a face after they turn around. (I’m pretty sure the face making negates the gesture.)
Regardless of where she's been in life, she’s happy when she stands there handing out papers. And it doesn’t have anything to do with the people walking by (because take it from me… collectively as a group, we’re not spreading a whole lot of cheer). I feel like people like this woman are few and far between - in her green shirt, she's a gem in a sea of grey.
Yesterday morning it was more of the same. Get on bus, plug in earphones, transfer busses, jostle to a seat, get off bus, head in building. And there she was, as bright as ever:
"Good morning… Happy Easter."
I'm passing it along because it's meant to be shared.