My evening commute here at the beach is seldom predictable and today was no exception to that rule. It is not often that I end up in a puddle of tears at the end of that drive but then....it wasn't an ordinary day either. It wasn't hugely different than any other day. It had its ups and downs and of course, sinus issues don't make life grand anyway.
I muddled through the day with some victories and some defeats and was actually just feeling, well....average. Average is something that my parents didn't tolerate. They didn't tolerate average in school and they certainly didn't tolerate it at home. Average was...just not done....so lets just say my day was less than stellar. I was sitting at the longest left turn light known to man and I was far enough back to know I was going to sit through it again. I decided to take a few minutes and just look at the sky....yeah...the sky....and the trees and the way the light fell through the trees and how weird that cloud was...and well.....what in the HECK was somebody from Michigan doing down here this time of year?
My eyes wandered over to the side of the road and there I saw someone clearly not average. He caught my eye first because he was dressed like the Statue of Liberty and second because he was putting everything he could into making the drivers of the cars passing by look at him and you know what, I started watching the people in the cars for a minute (just a minute because he was putting on too good of a show) and no one was looking at him. They were going about their business, worried about getting home and starting dinner, dealing with family, bills, taxes but....there I sat....and there he danced...and danced....and danced and smiled and waved and blessed everyone he saw.
I really didn't want that turn light to turn green because frankly, its been a long time since I have seen such joy come out of a human being in such a short amount of time, my eyes were spilling over with the real raw emotion of that sight and I couldn't even focus on the green arrow light. Here he was, in the cold, blustery wind, standing on some sort of electrical box, on the side of a very busy highway and he was HAPPY, like really, really HAPPY.
I rushed down the side road, ran up the stairs, slammed the door, grabbed Lee and told him to get the camera. (He looked at me like I was, you know, well....insane) but he followed along. So we walk up to this Statue of Liberty and we introduce ourselves. He never stops dancing, never stops waving, never shirks his responsibilities in any way. When Lee eloquently explained that we were photographers and his wife thought it would be a good idea if we came back and photographed him, he said he thought that was just fine and blessed us along with the others who were still busily going about their day...and he danced and he blessed and he jumped and he danced. And we took pictures.
I wanted to see the face behind that mask, the eyes that had seen whatever it was that made him dance for joy with his job, with his life, with the cars flying by....and so we asked him to take the mask off....and he did....but he never stopped dancing and he never stopped blessing...and he blessed us as we drove away just as he blessed me when I first saw him at the stoplight..and maybe this will bless you today too. Do what you do well, not just average....do it with joy...do it with grace...and just that effort will not only bless you but it will bless those who see you, who watch you, who learn from you...Do it WELL, do it LOUD and do it HAPPY....
Thank you Mr. Statue of Liberty Man, thank you for waking me up this day....