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The bearded gentleman walked

along a side street

 where minimal traffic flowed that time of day…

In black pants, black argyle sweater,

intentionally, but surprisingly, dressed up,

for an average day in the small mountain town.

Grasped in one hand was

a bouquet of simple yellow flowers—

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Daisies? Mums? Marigolds?

From my vantage point,

all I could see was tufts of sunshine.

My spirit instantly lifted,

And I couldn’t help but smile.

Flowers!

I wonder who they’re for?

A woman, I guessed,

wishing I could follow him

to watch the bouquet reach its destination,

to another pair of hands.

But I had an appointment to keep…

No time to dawdle.

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During the several days prior

friends had confided their struggles—

discouragement, depression, even despair.

Earlier that morning I ran an errand

involving a document to be presented in court,

challenging a false accusation…

So, it was

with a heavy heart

and continual whispered prayers on my lips,

I drove to town and parked a block from the appointed meeting place.

And that’s when I saw him—

the man with a yellow bouquet.

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An hour and a half later I left the café

And returned to my car.

Pulling out of the parking space

I saw the man again,

walking in the opposite direction—

with empty hands.

Maneuvering the car to pull up alongside him,

the windows came down,

and I spoke…

Excuse me.

I saw you earlier and noticed a bouquet of flowers,

I just wondered where you were taking them.

Politely, but with only a hint of a smile,

he explained,

I took them to a funeral.

Then he told me of why and who and…

Immediately

all other thoughts,

my presuppositions and romantic wonderings,

vanished in the listening.

I’m sorry.

I just wanted you to know,

seeing those flowers

brightened my day.

He smiled

and said he was glad.

Hours later I wished I had said more,

or said something else,

or something completely different.

But I was after all,

a stranger,

stopped in the middle of the road

and pressed for time…

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But these days it seems,

I’m always pressed for time.

Yet…

it’s in the in between times when my heart is so heavy,

that time stands still

as life around me races and spins and whirls.

Yes, it’s in these times,

the crazy, hectic times,

and the overwhelming times,

when an unexpected moment comes…

I dig in my heels,

to stop… to pause…

to appreciate…

and give thanks for

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a caring gentleman

and a simple bouquet of yellow flowers.

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