Beautiful Quilt
Things I haven't told you about The Shire

Take the Time to Look

Every now and then I will find myself going through life looking at the ground. Just marching along looking at nothing but where to put my feet. In other words only  concerned with myself or those I live with. Interacting with others, but just barely. Or rather just enough to accomplish whatever set my feet into action.
Yes even us missionary types can ignore those around us. (I am talking about people other than the herd I live with. You know folks in the community, cashiers, public transportation guys, etc.) It is easy to get distracted by one's own life. Especially if it is a life like mine. I'm pretty sure that I've been watching my shoes since moving to The Shire (our new farm.) I know, I know I shouldn't be too harsh on myself. It has been a big transition full of lots of work. Good reason to be self absorbed. Yet I do not want to live this way, thinking of and seeing only Johnny and my immediate family.
It takes effort to look at people, especially for an introvert like me. The rewards are fantastic, if I can only get my eyes up.
This morning I came to town to pay the school fees for our girls in secondary school. The first walk is down the hill to the highway. It's just a path, not a road. Most times I don't meet anyone else during the half hour walk. Lonely, but pleasant. Once at the highway I flag down a public transit vehicle, once it stops the tout jumps out and lets me in.
It was during the forty five minutes to an hour ride that I came to realize that I was drifting through life not paying attention to those around me. Usually at some point during the trip the tout, who is the door opener and  closer, will ask you for the fare. All this happened this morning, just like every other time. Nothing unusual, meaning I was able to coast.
What shocked me out of my stupor was realizing, as we were nearing the end of the line, that our tout was a woman. Now before you say "so what" you should know that female touts are rare. In fact this may be the first time I have ever ridden with one. I was shocked to discover not her femininity, but how easy it was for me to not notice. (She was not a dude, didn't look like one, nor sound like one.)
Once out I made an effort to look at people. Which admittedly made my trip across town take longer, but it was worth it.
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