As I sit in my office overlooking center city Philadelphia, I am thinking about the changes in the seasons and scenery in a city work-life. Whether it is a regular annoyance or something preferred, there is always some routine change that makes a difference.
For a few years now, every morning there was an older black woman who would sit on a bench. Each day she would read out-loud select verses from The Bible. She would preach; she would sing. I once saw her kick a guy out of her seat so that she could sit there and sing her praises – not exactly the Christian-like behavior expected from someone who preaches.
I don’t follow what she preached and I never talked to her. I only notice that she was there every day, but she recently stopped showing up and this minor routine change has actually had an impact on my days. She was a landmark in my morning routine, to help me know I was in the right place daily.
I used to get fruit from a cart near JFK Plaza (Love Park) in the morning for breakfast. It was run by a very kind Korean couple. We would talk about the weather and our families while I watched him cutting fruit and she prepared my container. I would get their “medium” container which always included various melons, oranges, a banana and other seasonal fruit like mango, strawberries, grapes and cherries. I would munch on the fruit all morning – a delightful and healthy choice.
Unfortunately, this year they are gone. I know from our conversations that their “grandbabies” were getting older. I suspect they retired to spend more time with the grandchildren. I miss our talks in the morning and the wonderful selection of fresh fruit daily. None of the other fruit carts are as good as they were.
It was the disappearance of another cart that led me to the fruit cart. Just 100 or so feet away from them was a cart operated by an older Hungarian man. He made a wonderful “Breakfast Tortilla” that I enjoyed daily. It was basically a freshly cooked western omelette with hot sauce in a burrito sized tortilla. He had the best hot sauce I have ever tasted. It had just the right amount of kick, not too hot, but lots of flavor. He decided to retire and sold his cart to a nephew who essentially ruined the business and stopped coming around.
Learn from yesterday,
live for today,
hope for tomorrow
We can’t get stuck in the past, but instead reflect on it once in a while and enjoy the current, for tomorrow we might just be someone else’s little routine change.