Strewn along the freeway median are discarded bits of clothing, mostly hats that blew off or solo shoes. How they find themselves along the freeway is a mystery. They are almost always old and tattered.
"I'm still putting on make up. I'm not pretty yet, Dadda."
There are moments as a father, which are weightier than others, and you have to be present enough to catch. This is one of those moments.
I realize my daughter has dug into her mother's makeup bag because it is fun to do what mom does, but her statement struck my heart in a way I would not pass over. This was an opportunity.
"You do not need makeup to be pretty, Bryleigh. You are so pretty."
That was not hard to say nor did it take but a few moments of being present enough to seize. My 2 year old playfully saying, "I'm still putting on make up. I'm not pretty yet, Dadda" was an opportunity to be a Dad before there is an emotional belief behind that statement.
I am not against my daughter putting on make up (later), but I am vehemently against my daughter ever believing she needs makeup to be pretty.
I was trailed into my favorite coffee shop by a transient man. He stayed just inside the door as I progressed to the counter. The barista kept his eyes attached to the man, but said under his breath to me, "This is the second day he's showed up. He doesn't do anything wrong, though. So I don't mind him hanging there." First tinge of beauty.
Turning around, I watched the vagrant man hangout in the entry way. It is not especially hot or cold outside. So it could not have been for any relief from the elements that brought him to this threshold two days in a row. He didn't want coffee or money or a handout of any sort. So WHAT does he want here?
Naturally, he has attracted dozens of wandering eyes by now, but the beautiful things begin to show up for me.
He begins bobbing his head and twitching his body to the beat of the dance music on the house system. He is dancing. Subtle...but he is soaking the music like it is a hydration station on a marathon of beggared life.
The song ends and he turns to leave.