Walking to a free open-air concert, I stopped to look up...

June 24th, 2016, 8pm

After finally finding a parking spot off the beaten path I started walking to the free open-air concert held on Fountain Square. In a unnecessary rush, I looked around for the street names at the nearest intersection so I might remember where I parked - silently wishing I had the convenience of a Pin to drop on my outdated Windows phone. After hurriedly glancing around the sign to a small alleyway caught my eye. I walked over to get a closer look, and my suspicions were confirmed. The street sign bore the name of my dear friend and spouse, who was away on a business trip.

Suddenly a dozen thoughts and feelings rushed in at once: How is he doing right now? Spark of curiosity. I hope he’s having fun. Joy. It’s been several days since I’ve been able to hold him. A pang of sadness. I wish I can call him right now. Longing. I’m very alone on this deserted street. Vulnerability. I’m so blessed to have him in my life. Love and gratitude…

I stood there for some time, looking rather foolish staring in silence at a unimpressive street sign in the middle of Cincinnati. But, to me that moment was not foolish nor the sign unimpressive. I savored the short minutes spent reflecting on my most precious relationship, surrounded by the silence of the moment. As I finally turned to walk away I was reminded of how little I actually stop to observe the world around me, and even less so reflect with gratitude on the many important people in my life. As I continued on my way, I said a silent prayer for my spouse and expressed my deep thankfulness for him in my life. I also resolved to pause and look up more often, because heaven knows I need it.

So-Shan and David Wade said thanks.

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Ruth Jeffries

Reader, Sometimes writer, Researcher. Nonprofits / Helping Profession

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