Archive for August 20th, 2011

Free pass #33

Free pass   #33

 As I fly home from my spectacular vacation in the Pacific northwest, there are so many stories I could share. I’ll begin with my visit to the beautiful Japanese Garden in Portland, Oregon. That’s where we met Stephanie, the shuttle bus driver. She looked all of 16 but told us she was 23 and had just moved there from very far away all by herself without knowing anyone in the area. She said she moved because she was “bored.” I suspect there’s a more painful version of her story but that’s not what she chose to share. Instead, Stephanie absolutely sparkled with a love of life, people and her new job. She was so engaging that I just had to tell her how special I thought she was. Our conversation was brief but a deep connection had been forged. I ended up giving her a tip and wishing her well in her new life.

My friends and I adored the garden. We took a guided tour and learned a great deal but I was wishing there would be time on my trip to return and enjoy the tranquility in what my friend dubbed “solo silence.” The following day found us touring another nearby garden. To my delight, my friend agreed that it wasn’t holding her interest either and we decided to return to the Japanese one instead.

When we arrived, I was shocked to hear her ask if we could get in for free! We had less than an hour before we would be meeting friends to go elsewhere and, since we had just paid admission the day before for the tour, she asked the ticket seller to make an exception. I was even more amazed to look up and see Stephanie standing further back in the ticket booth, winking at us and signaling the attendant to let us go through! We certainly had no hidden agenda when we spoke with her the day before, but it was nice to see how our heart to heart exchange paid off in such a lovely and unexpected way.

Let your spirit soar!


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