A man walked through the doors at work today and asked where he could take his canoe on the river that wouldn't be too hectic. Somewhere he could row upstream, then float back down. I showed him on the map places that he would be able to avoid rapids and where it wouldn't be too crowded. He told me about his canoe and how it has peddles. It also has fins on the bottom that help counteract the waves. How his arms aren't as strong as they used to be seeing as he's 65. How he will bring a paddle and use it, but only if he has to. He prefers to use his legs, because they are clearly one of the strongest parts of his body. And how he paddled in lake powell.. but these big house boats where everywhere. He didn't like that. He also took a very long time out there and when he went to catch the ferry he signed up for he saw a sign that said "last ferry 3:00pm." It was nearly nine. He slept in his car. It's a suburban so the seats laid down. It wasn't too uncomfortable for him, but it was so hot. Not as hot as back home in California.. about 20 miles from the city.. up in the mountains, but he's ready to escape the heat. That's why he changed his agenda and he's heading up to Yellowstone next. He is going to just relax and breathe in the fresh air.He'll canoe in the Yellowstone lake cause he's seen pictures and boy does it look refreshing. Oh and how about mountain biking around here? Maybe I'll just rest tonight, go on the river tomorrow and if I'm not too tired afterwards I'll go mountain biking. I heard the bar m is nice? Do you think so? Oh and that Mexican restaurant right over there.. does that have good food? I'm starving and I just want to sit down, relax, and have a good meal. Is that a good choice?
As I sat there and listened to every word he vividly described, I realized that one of the biggest things in life is that we all just want to be heard. We all want someone to listen and not speak, to just take in our every word and then bid farewell. The 65 year old man that walked in the store today was one of the most refreshing people I've ever encountered. And as he shook my hand and said "well Annie, I'm guessing that's your name because that's what it says on your shirt.., I've got some Mexican food to go eat, thanks for your advice and have a great night.." I replayed the conversation in my head again and again. I'm not sure I gave him any advice or really said much at all.. but I'm truly glad I met him.. and that he had someone to listen to everything he needed to say. I hope his food was great and that Yellowstone treats him well.
Sometimes all we need is someone to listen.