Yesterday I took my mother grocery shopping. She did not want to do delivery anymore and I hate grocery shopping, so she wanted to go wander up and down the aisles by herself. She said I could just drop her off and come back and get her but not even I am that bad of a daughter.

So we compromised I would sit at the front of the store in the Starbucks where I’d be close by if she needed help because she overestimated her stamina walking around in that boot while using the shopping cart as a walker.

In the hour I sat drinking tea in that Starbucks while I waited for mom to assert her stubbornness, I mean independence, I heard three different distinct languages that weren’t English. It’s been awhile since that has happened to me in a place other than the airport.

I was “officially” working on a writing project, but I had a great vantage point for observation, so that is what I mostly did. Keeping an eye on my phone in case mom texted or called for help, I continued to listen and watch people.

I love people watching–I always have. I often wonder what people’s stories are and sometimes make up stories for them. Some of the stories are fantastical and impossibly unlikely but mostly I try to choose a story that fits what I’m seeing. (I read somewhere that good writers are people watchers because that is the best way to create realistic characters…so maybe someday.)

During that hour I saw a beautiful spectrum of cultures and ethnicities. Who knew that by avoiding the grocery store whenever possible that I was missing out on such a grand opportunity to observe the amazing differences in our shared humanity?

I live in one of the most diverse cities in Colorado. And while that can lead to violence and crime sometimes, it also encompasses hope and acceptance. It requires people to confront and acknowledge the vast amount of variance in humanity and only the most stubborn and obscene refuse to do so.

I will miss living here and I have some trepidation about how homogenized my new home currently is. Maybe that is why the Universe has opened up this door for me. Not only for my happiness on a personal level but as a way to help bring love, acceptance, and tolerance to a place that needs a bit more of that right now.

I’ll have to ponder that some more. In the meantime, be well my friends.

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