Are you paying attention?

This past weekend I had the opportunity to go on a road trip. It was just my husband and me, with him driving the entire nearly-500 mile trip. It gave me time to think and to look around as the world breezed by me. 

Not too far from home, I saw a woman in a house dress and slippers, wearing a winter coat. She was slowly and methodically raking the snow on her front lawn. It was a peculiar sight, indeed. Was she lonely? Did she do this sort of thing often? Was she a widow, missing her companion and the person who, up until this winter, always maintained their grounds? Was she spreading the snow out in the hopes it would melt faster? Was she simply a little nutty? Who knows?

On our way home, we traveled on some county roads between two interstates. On one particular stretch, I couldn’t help but notice seemingly every other property had a structure in some state of disrepair. Rusted out swing set skeletons, barns with collapsed roofs, garages barely standing, and homes in need of something more than TLC were everywhere. I turned to my husband  and said, “I’ll bet that town is full of teenagers itching to get out.” What were their stories, I wondered? What happened to this town, these families?

Everyone has a story

It’s not just the sad stories that caught my attention. There were plenty of families out enjoying the sunshine and the relative warmth. Kids romping about on playgrounds and cars filled with people who seemed so eager to be going somewhere, anywhere.

As I watched the world, I wondered how many of those people were wondering about my story. Did they question our out-of-state license plates and wonder why we were so far from home? Did they catch my husband and I laughing and carrying on or did they see us in a quiet moment and think perhaps we were angry?

When people drove through my town, or the town I grew up in, did anyone wonder about the people who live there? What was the impression they were left with?

We all have stories, every single one of us. What’s yours? What do passersby see when they see you? What do you hope they see?

Look around you. There is a whole world filled with tales just waiting to be written. You just need to keep your eyes open to see them.

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