I am a professional eavesdropper, a trait that irritated my daughter to no end. I can begin accidentally hearing the context of their conversation long before they realize I could be listening despite the fact that I have a very recognizable clip-clop on the tile floor. Some mornings I keep walking and greet these three ladies; other mornings I find a reason to stop and insert myself into their lives.
At first, you could watch their eyes cut to each other as I walked by and said hello or stopped to add my old woman thoughts to their youth. Their eyes spoke of an unsureness, an unwillingness to share their morning spot with me. Slowly, with each day, more often their eyes look up at the tell-tale sound of my amazon clip-clop to greet me with a smile and a sweet "Good Morning." Today, one of them even offered the conversation topic.
"Hey Mrs. Witcher - I gave blood yesterday!" proudly sporting her orange t-shirt. Her comrades joined in offering their own experiences. I stopped and listened offered my old woman advice about taking vitamins and eating protein for breakfast. Then as if it were the most natural act in the world, I reached across my new friend's back and squeezed her shoulders hard. "Y'all have a good day!"
"We will Ms. Witch, " as she leaned into the hug.
She leaned in.
It was a gift and a lesson.
We have some leaning in to do. I have some leaning in to do. There's love and joy to receive; there's more to give. There are challenges to answer, and they all require me to lean in.