Jan, the postal clerk, asked if I wanted pretty stamps and shared how she loves selling folks beautiful stamps. I totally get that. I find joy in placing beautiful stamps on letters and bills. (Yes, we also still pay bills by mail.)
Before leaving, I noticed the post office now sells cloth bags for a dollar and two which led us to talk about the benefits of reusable cloth over plastic.
As I turned to leave, Jan said, "I love my customers." I was so taken by her comment that all I did was smile, but I really wanted to say, "Jan, I love you too."
I walked out reminded of the beauty of the personal touch, how much I find joy exchanging a greeting and brief conversation with another human being especially someone who's receptive and willing to converse.
I then made my way to the 12th Avenue South farmer's market to buy beef from Triple L a local farm that cares for their cows in pastures rather than in concrete feeding barns and doesn't fill them with antibiotics and hormones. (And yes, I'm aware I'm passing judgment on corporate America suggesting they don't love their cattle because how beef is 'manufactured'. Consider watching Food Inc if you haven't. It's available on dvd.)
I arrived home just in time to get back to work and find three bags of squash, beans, potatoes, tomatoes and peppers from my friend Bernie in Fly, TN. These are greatly appreciated since the raccoons got into my squash and beans and ate everything down to the nub.
Stamps, cows that have been lovingly tended, vegetables lovingly grown and the people involved in providing them, these are things of beauty to me. Oh and I must add the raccoons since they too are a part of the web of life and were here long before my little raised beds.
Our divides may be many in these times, but the personal touch is easily lost in our hectic lives. Technology and science has gifted us with cures, communication and entertainment devices and much of what we use everyday, yet nothing can take the place of the personal "Hello, how are you?, the smile or comments like Jan's "I love my customers."
How do you experience the personal touch in your own life?
-Dawn, The Good News Muse, 10 August 2011