In an effort to declutter our home, I’ve posted a few items on Craig’s List. One item happens to be a heavy desk we’ve had in a spare room for many years without use. Because of it’s shape and girth, the deal required someone to come to our home for pick up.
We’ve met some characters during this process. The last lady, purchasing another piece of furniture, and her family came in our home as if they were looking for a place to shack up. Each eyeballing and commenting on the rooms as they passed. “Oh you have xyz, that must be nice….Ohhhh, and the high ceilings….I’ve always loved those” …..I half expected to find them on my sofa when I came home the next day.
While I find humor in it all, and I like the cash, my husband finds it more burdensome. Not because he doesn’t like cash….just because you never know what you are going to get when someone pulls up to your house…. and that makes him a wee-bit uncomfortable.
After several messages and missed appointments our buyer for the desk finally arrived….thirty minutes late. My husband is now shifting his feet, anxious to get this over with as it dinner time…. And dinner time takes priority over all else in this house!
I meet the young blond outside and noticed his slightly broken English. He states twice in a rather short period of time that he is not from the area so I asked the question, where are you from? The Czech Republic.
What the heck are you doing here?
He couldn’t contain his smile and his eyes danced wildly as he told the story. Turns out, he was “finishing university” and applied for a green card on a whim. He received the notification that he won! His mannerisms and body language told me that it was a major, lottery size win to get selected for the green card. He was joyous…boundless joy exuded from his every movement.
So, he said, “I packed up my book bag and came over.” ….
That simple I thought….Just a book bag and a smile. A new country waiting for you to explore awaits. How fantastically scary, yet tremendously awesome. Brave! Good for you!
My husband on the other hand, is now looking at him as if he were crazy…Our travel book bag, for day trips, barely zips with all the crap we tow. He is thinking…a book bag? Your whole life fits into a book bag? He clearly does not share our last name!
The young man goes on to talk about the work he found while here, a German based company. He has high hopes that he will be able to transfer when his green card expires. He states he will one day need to go back home because he is a “child of one” and will have to take care of his parents. The duty understood and accepted without question.
As he says this, urgency builds and he spins on his heels. He says “I’m sorry. I just need to look”…..pausing… “This is so beautiful, his arms wide, an effort to take it all in. I’ve never seen anything like this… but in the movies.”
Huh? My husband I both twist and turn trying to see what he saw. Nothing. Our faces perplexed he said, “I’m living downtown and it looks a lot like my home. But here, you have grass and yards, and trees….It’s so…so beautiful. I’ve never seen anything like this.” He truly is almost brought to tears.
We smile back, softly….kindly….unable to match his energy.
In our minds our house is nothing special in comparison. We bought it with the sole purpose to keep our oldest child in the school district we wanted him to attend. It has never been our dream home, only our in-between home. In fact one of the reasons we are decluttering is to prepare to sell it over the next few years. Sadly, we’ve never been in love with it.
His words, his pure wonder and excitement….sit with us through dinner and into the days that follow.
I recant the story to my youngest on our drive to school. He says, “that makes me sad for him.”
“Why?” I say
“Because, what must his country look like if he thinks this is beautiful?”
Taking a few minutes to ponder, I respond, “You know what? It makes me think I need to travel more. I’d like to see his country. He said it looks a lot like down town. Because he is so used to that, the beauty has worn off….It just is normal…boring…to him. Yet people travel from all over to vacation in our city. Here, with green grass and birds and trees…that is beautiful, because it is different. I may feel the same about his country if I saw it. It may be so, so beautiful to me because it is different than anything I’ve seen before.”
He nods in agreement.
Thank you Lukas for the lesson. I’m not sure I’ll ever look at my home the same. Your words echo in my ears when I pull into the drive way, and I am grateful.
I pray my young man grows up to be just as courageous one day. Following his dreams with his smile and his back back. Ready to take on the world, fearlessly educating himself through experiences.
I pray that my eyes continue to open wide enough to see beauty in all things… even the beautifully… normal things.