She had always known this: Some day, it would happen to her. She would be walking up to a home with prospective buyers, and everything would stop.
At that precise moment, the professional suite pant, the brand new, state-of-the-art Netbook tucked under her arm, and her natural talent for making sense of details and numbers that usually baffled first-time home buyers, would all seem irrelevant. Perhaps if she had not expected this, it might not have happened at all. But it did.
Her clients were young; excited and nervous all at once. She tried to draw their attention to more down-to-earth matters, momentarily. She was good at this too. A frivolous chickadee flew from fence post to branch, from sunflower to wire, always nearby, as though it were coming along to take a tour of the home. She pointed it out to them. Everyone looked up and smiled. The little bird seemed to smile back; he may even have winked.
This is when it happened. The left heel of her brand new Boutique 9 shoes became caught in something. In an attempt to regain her balance, she lost both shoes. Everyone, even the chickadee, gasped with awe at her agile recovery. She did not fall. She did not even drop the Netbook.
When everyone realized that it was OK to share a laugh, they also noticed the beautiful mosaic of tile and grass that led to the front steps of the little cape that was the very first prospect of the day.
In that instant, before stepping inside, they fell in love with the spirit of the property. It is true that it needed some work, but it had the charm and beauty of the well-loved home they had dreamed could some day be theirs.
The moral of this story:
We spend a lot of time planning and calculating the circumstances that mark the course of our lives. We worry about proper decorum and perfect outcomes, all based on our idea of what that should look like. Nevertheless, it is often in the instant when we have the least control that we truly take flight, see the greater picture, and experience the most enduring delight.
(This Blog post took shape after it occurred to me that the images at the top of a Facebook wall might inspire a story. The images I saw on our wall are featured at the top of this article.)