Anywhere there are people.
In the airport terminal. Wait. Watch. Exhausted mom with three little ones. Headed home to visit grandparents? A visit to a medical specialist, the health burden weighing heavily? Real cowboys. No dress for image, here. That is real dirt on their jeans, real muck on their boots, worn leather gloves tucked in their belts, wide brimmed hats pulled down on their foreheads. Their story? A rodeo circuit, three this weekend, Colorado, California, Idaho. Guess their horses stayed back at the ranch?
On the plane. Six across. Thirty-something back. Parents, children, couples, brothers, friends, strangers. A weekend flight, lacking the usual business travelers. Murmur of chatting, voices across the air, connections, strangers greet, share their stories. A baby, not so happy with his part in this story.
In freeway traffic. Stop. Go. Stop. Go. Stop. A geeky looking guy driving an expensive black Tessla. Wonder where he is headed, an errand for his boss? Cars loaded with luggage, one last family vacation before school starts. A car loaded with boxes, baskets, a lamp, young woman driving, headed off to her college dorm to study: psychology? philosophy? drama? The wistful eyes of the young teen, face turned to the window, away from her family, her eyes, beautiful, deep. A lone young man, sings to himself, grins, bangs the steering wheel with his hands, waggles his head like a bobbler on the dashboard, a private disco in his car.
A fast food restaurant. More than the food is fast. Bustle, movement, rustle, clatter, laughs, numbers called, a cell phone, smiles across the room. I listen. Snatches of storyline, voices drift above the noise.
In the hospital waiting room. Lives at crossroads, wait, watch the clock. Threads connect the seats, each one waits to hear, hangs on to hope. Family gathers. Friends greet, ask the news. A head shakes. Wait. Still. The beautiful young lady in the hall, waits for the elevator, tears brim her eyes, anguish. A tough story, held tight within her heart.
In line at the pharmacy. People chat, laugh, comment. "Hope my doctor called it in and got it right today," Health issues, compared. Coo at the tiny dog in the lady's purse. Others, quiet, withdrawn, "Don't talk to me," written on their face. Their story, not to be shared, private. A closed door.
At home again. The door open, welcoming. Our story. My story. Ours, written together. Relief, joy, smiles passed around. Stories shared.
Everywhere we went - all these places in the last four days. Everyone has a story. Some want to tell it - whether you want to hear it or not. Others, quiet and private. A story, told by words, or told in action and attitude, the expression on the face. Story, all around us, anywhere there are people.
Storytime. Anytime. Do you hear them?