Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Finding the Flair in Trash

You'd think that my trying on a fancy dress with sparkly shoes (I'm in a wedding) or going to a nice lunch out today would constitute flair. I'm amazed with what doesn't trip the flair sensor in me. I'm stunned with what does.

I wake up each morning, and I start looking for my flair moment. I can't wait to discover it. Surprisingly, none of these moments have had anything to do with dresses, shoes, or even food (and I love food: I'm still remembering an amazing carrot cake cupcake I ate).

It's always the common thing seen in an uncommon way. Flair erupts from the banal, not the sparkly.

While in the Lowe's parking lot a few hours ago, I saw a man notice a piece of trash in his path. When he bent down to get it, the wind blew it just out of his reach and in front of my car. I braked and watched him scurry after the trash, lean down, nearly reach it, and have the wind swirl it out of reach again.

It felt like I was watching a Charlie Chaplin movie. After two more attempts to hold the piece of trash with his foot, the man finally grasped the paper, held it up in victory, and went to find the trashcan. I rolled down my window and screamed out, "Nice job! You did it!" He held his fist in a cheer, laughing with me. It was a small victory, but so important. Maybe it would be the only battle he'd win today. I had to celebrate it.

Living with flair means I celebrate every small victory. And I mean celebrate (you have to cheer with somebody--hold up a fist and pump it in the air). Cheering with a stranger about picking up trash was flair.

It wasn't sparkly at all. I didn't even have to pay for it. In fact, the stuff I want to wear or eat or buy seems like counterfeit flair to me. It's not the real treasure.

Living with flair means I can find joy in trash because that's the treasure.


Meg McGinty said...

And you made that man's day just a little bit better. This made me think of the floating plastic trashbag in American Beauty. Good movie.

Anonymous said...

Hi Heather! Thank you so much for sharing your blog with us. Rick and I have really enjoyed reading about the flair in your life! It's so fun and encouraging! Thank you!

Kim Grunden

Charity said...

I like what you said, "it may be the only battle he wins today." It's so easy to be discouraged with what I DIDN'T accomplish in a day that I miss out on celebrating the little battles that I did win. I dusted and organized our DVD collection today!!! (said while pumping a victorious fist in the air and doing a celebratory dance) :)