Optimism

The man stepped outside

ill equipped for the weather.

He wore a knee-length plaid bathrobe

and leather bedroom slippers.

His pale bare legs were

a shocking white against his home’s green lawn.

As he walked down the short driveway

to retrieve the daily newspaper,

I said to myself,

“This guy is nuts!”

Bundled in a knee length down jacket,

hat, gloves and a neck warmer,

I silently congratulated myself

for checking the below freezing temperature before heading out.

My dogs wagged their tails

in the predawn chill,

hoping for a hello from the older gentleman.

“Fine morning! ” he exclaimed.

“Pretty cold,” I responded.

“Brisk! Best way to start the day,”

he added as he turned to head back inside.

Walking toward home, I wondered…

is it possible to be too prepared?

Too cocooned?

Weighing down our pockets

to prepare for any possibility,

are we missing the chance

for a brisk start,

a new experience,

an unaccounted for outcome?

10 thoughts on “Optimism

  1. I love all the colorful descriptions you added so I could see the paper retriever.
    Your ending has me pondering too. Being prepared seems wise but I am glad you introduced me to this wise gentleman today. He seems wise, too!

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  2. I feel this; your words are perfect:
    Weighing down our pockets
    to prepare for any possibility …

    I love your reflection on this moment, this shift in perspective.

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  3. I love how you connected this small moment in a morning to a bigger question around preparedness. I often wonder this myself- if my instinct to be prepared ruins spontaneous opportunities that could arise. If only we could plan to be less prepared…

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  4. No we can never be too prepared for the cold! And don’t be swayed by men wearing plaid. (One of the rules I like to follow.)

    Love the description of your neighbor. I can totally picture this guy and those legs and slippers in my mind. And I don’t know what this means, but I can also picture my husband being this guy in a few years.

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  5. I appreciate the thinking you do in response to your seemingly underdressed neighbor. It makes me think that maybe there are lessons all around us. Also, I’m pretty sure I’m missing most of them. So your post is a good reminder!

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  6. Leah McFarlane says:

    This reminds me of my oldest who wears shorts all winter and takes icy swims for fun. Usually, I shake my head in wonderment, but this piece gives me a new angle that I’m sure he’ll appreciate. 🙂

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  7. I so enjoyed reading this and could picture it all. True. Sometimes I could wish a little more care free and not always worried about being completely prepared.

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  8. This slice got me thinking about the recent trend for cold showers to start the day. But I also loved the vivid imagery, from the neighbor’s description to your dialogue, it was so well done and left me pondering too.

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