I’m working today.
Unusual for me because it is a Saturday
However today I am delivering a workshop at a conference.
People I don’t know to make polite and pointless conversation with.
Final preparation to do for the workshop, the subject of which I have only a 50% grasp.
Emails to catch up on.
Working on Saturday is not ideal for lentement, but there you go.
Sometimes it happens.
Lunchtime arrives liked a long-awaited friend to my rumbling stomach.
I find myself chatting to the leader of another youth work organisation and we are talking about rest and ‘sabbath’. I share a bit about my pursuit of slowness. I don’t manage to impress him as much as I hoped.
My friend finishes his lunch and says he had go and set up for the workshop he is leading in the next session.
What will I do now? I am standing around contemplating an 8th sandwich, only because it means I will have something to do. Please no more awkward conversations. I look around.
I’m in Exeter by the way, I don’t know the city.
So I just open the front door of the venue where the conference is taking place and walkout.
I cross the road.
A bird is singing.
I finish a text to Annie, my wife, and then look around me.
I see a tyre fitter and then pass an Asian food store.
A man in a turban driving a Mercedes pulls out of the road opposite. I can hear his music. No idea.
I walk on…
I arrive at a T-junction. I look left and then I look right. Only way to tackle a T-junction.
It doesn’t matter really and so I turn towards the greater activity as I perceive it.
The shops are interesting…not in the way trinket and art and craft shops in Cornwall become oddly alluring when you are on holiday but simply because I am considering them, what they sell and the people in them. I don’t normally pay that much attention.
A pawn broker, a charity shop, a pound shop, a pub.
I cross the road and watch the people around me.
Two people are chatting. She is on a bench and he is talking to her in an animated fashion as he stands in front of her. Are they having a domestic?
A young looking mother walks past with her baby.
I am aware of people around me.
A parking attendant (in-training it says on his coat) talks to a couple loading their shopping whilst parked on a double yellow line. Clever tactic, book ‘em whilst being friendly – your training is complete my friend.
All I did was walk out of the building.
I’ve seen people, moments in people’s lives, heard music and birds singing.
All I did was open the door and walkout.
A little peace.