Living in the Slow Lane has its benefits. It means taking your time, going where you will, and some days can be filled with random encounters – some of which are co-incidences and some of which are God-incidences, and then having the time to digest which is which. Such is life in the Slow Lane.
Life is full of transitions. I have come to accept that I now live in a solitude cottage, in the slow lane, in the area of random encounters. And it is an exciting place to be, if you have eyes that see and ears that hear.
Just the other day I went up the hill to the big grocery store to do a bit of shopping. I noticed the pop-up stall of the Sunfield Home School that was having a fund-raising event. I remembered a friend who had a son with a disability who was in the home. Thought I’d linger, but changed my mind and went on to do some leisurely shopping.
But coming out of the store I thought I heard a voice calling to me, and when I turned there was a young man urging me to buy a sticker for Casual Day. I could see that he was disabled, yet so polite, so charming, so earnest, that I was hooked. He escorted me to the till table and said he would reserve a sticker for me, but I could also make a donation into the big box on the table, or “if you like take a stroll around the table and buy some of the handwork made by the students” …. so polite, and no pressure ! I said that I liked to shop and will take a stroll around the table. I picked up a few trinkets and came back to the till table, where a young girl with an absolute winning smile, was ready to take my money. But Mr Marketing Entrepreneur was waiting for me with the reserved sticker. I said “what must I do with the sticker?” He said on the 1st of September I could wear casual clothes and then put on the sticker. The Principal of the school was at my elbow and he explained Casual Day to me, as I obviously did not know when, or anything else about Casual Day.
Casual Day is a day when you may donate money to a disability charity, get a sticker, wear casual clothes, and so become aware of the World of Disabilities. Enlightened, I paid the girl with the winning smile for the sticker, my trinkets and gave Mr Marketing Entrepreneur the change to put in the Donation Box. He was delighted, as was the Principal, who immediately put my name on their data base.
Marketing well done, they had caught a fat fish. But the kind Principal at my elbow, told me more about the Home School and their work. As their School was in a country environment I asked if they had a vegetable garden. And indeed they do, and a veggie tunnel too. Way to go !
When I mentioned that Mr Marketing Entrepreneur, who I saw was listening, had such an air of charm and confidence, I had to turn to him to say ” You are a Super Star.” If I thought that the words were going to make an impression I was wrong. He immediately deflected the compliment to the girl with the winning smile at the till table, and said “And what about her ?” I looked in her direction and said “You too are such a Super Star”, …. and was quickly rewarded with that winning smile.
As I turned to walk off I heard the Principal say, give her a Sunfield sticker, and Mr Marketing Entrepreneur came over and pressed a tiny white sticker on my blouse that said ‘Sunfield Home School thanks you’. And he gave me a quick hug. Wow ! I walked away feeling I had been in the company of angels.
I am quite sure that there were angels standing by that pop-up stall, even if they were in the form of the Principal or Carers. At every turn there was someone who explained either the sale goods or the aims of the School. The students were not left on their own to man their stall. The support team was on the spot to assist.
But I suspect that there were other angels too – those of a heavenly feathery kind, for I had felt the light feathery brush of an angel wing as I walked away. A random encounter, and a God-incident indeed !
The World of Disabilities is not often seen in the Fast Lane. It is far to busy, to fast and to insensitive there. But those who have been on the fringes of the World of Disabilities would agree with a quote from the educators of the Sunfield Home School :
“recognise that the disabled learners have more abilities than disabilities”
So for one brief moment of the year, the first day of September, remember the Disabled, dress casual and wear a sticker that may just say “but there for the grace of God go I.”