You never know when and where you might discover a moment of contentment. It feels like a gift when those times happen unbidden and unexpectedly.
Having just finished shopping and while loading my groceries into the trunk of the car, I spied the bag of cheese puffs – a last minute impulse buy – took them into the driver’s seat with me and ripped into them, not even waiting to get home first. There I sat in the parking lot of the Hannaford Supermarket, this being one of the first spring days following this way-too-long winter, stuffing my face with Pirate’s Booty White Cheddar Puffs, the sun coming through the windshield while I watched that small section of the world go by.
There wasn’t a whole lot of action happening in the parking lot, although this particular Hannaford does seem to have more diverse and interesting characters frequenting it than some of the others I have shopped at. There is nothing attractive about our local Hannaford’s parking area; as a matter of fact, it is a rather dismal expanse of broken pavement and weeds, still covered in unsightly, exhaust-blackened snowbanks. And yet, as I sat there within the sun-warmed interior of the car with my bag of Pirate’s Booty, savoring each puff and watching high clouds move across a late afternoon sky of utmost blue, a feeling of great contentment washed over me. I actually felt inexplicably happy in the moment. And although I dislike the phrase “feeling blessed”, finding its trendy overuse on social media a bit obnoxious and somewhat self-aggrandizing, I will admit that buried within the happiness that lay within the contentment, there might actually have been the slightest sliver of a blessed moment involved. Or perhaps more accurately it should be called an awareness of gratefulness.
Despite all manner of worry that sits heavy on my mind and heart regarding so many serious issues, right then and there I became aware of the good fortune to be sitting comfortably in my own car, absorbing the sunny warmth of an early spring day, able to afford a few bags of groceries and enjoy some baked cheese puffs. The privilege was not lost on me. The moment lasted about long enough to finish off half the bag. Not a great while, but enough time to acknowledge that it was indeed a Moment happening, and that it was good, this cheese puff bliss.
Watching a bird at the feeder; enjoying a hot cup of tea; laughing with an old friend; a morning phone call from your children; coming home to a dog with a wagging tail, and yes, even sitting in your car eating a bag of cheese puffs in a supermarket parking lot on a sunny day – each like so many semi-precious stones. Strung together they make a lovely necklace.