Pay it forward

I ran a teeny bit late this morning. My oldest daughter wanted to talk, and I wanted to listen. She followed me out to the driveway and while we chatted, I corralled the empty water bottles littered on the floor of my car (how’d they get there?) into a paper bag. My plan was to give them to my co-worker who takes the recyclables she collects to her local Human Society.

My daughter and I finish our conversation, so I climbed into my car and zoomed off. Even though I’m twice as behind as I was before, I can’t escape the bewitching sirens call luring me to Starbucks. Besides, it’s only a few blocks away, directly on my path to work. I don’t require much mental arm twisting before I cave.

If I time it right, I seldom wait in the drive through line. I didn’t time it right, so I pulled in behind the car in front of me, and prepared to wait for my turn to order. Out of the corner of my eye, I notice a couple. Both were wearing purple shirts (my favorite color) and the gentleman was carrying a garbage bag. I made an assumption and called out to them.

“Hey, are you collecting bottles and cans?” They replied in the affirmative, and I reached over to the neatly corralled bag of plastic bottles, and then passed it through my car door. Wow. That felt good. It seemed like my running late, spending a few minutes chatting with my daughter, and tidying up my car, had some sort of a cosmic purpose.

The line moved quickly, and before I knew it I was at the drive-thru window chatting with my favorite Baristias. (They are so nice to me, there. They remember my name, what I order, exclaim over my nail designs. These aren’t ordinary Starbucks staff, these people have super powers!)

“The car ahead of you paid for your drink.” My SuperStarbucks barista announces. My bemused expression quickly turned to one of great pleasure. Someone gave me a gift! Wow! That felt good.

On my way to work, late yet not stressed about it, I pondered on that cosmic connection. I wonder if my latte gift was an acknowledgement from the Universe for spending time with my daughter and sharing my recyclables. It sure seems that way to me.

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