A group of three friends sat at the table in front of me. They were happy and it seemed that they were having the most wonderful time. There was a girl and two boys. The one boy had his hand on the girl’s knee – ever so secretly. If it hadn’t been for the angle I was sitting at, I would not have noticed this. I thought this was very courteous of them – not making the other boy feel uncomfortable about being there on their date.
My salad arrived. I studied the salad, noticing the rich colours. Bright red tomatoes, green cucumbers and lettuce. There were large square pieces of pineapple and thin julienne carrots. It was as if a child had dropped a box of the world’s most colourful crayons in front of me and I was about to devour it. I noticed this for the first time – I truly noticed this.
I could not take my eyes off this table of three. The one boy had started drinking his tea with his spoon. Gently putting it into the tea cup and then sipping the hot mixture lightly. I have only seen people do this when enjoying the foam of a cappuccino – as I do. Yet, here this boy sat, with his date, and drank his entire cup of tea with his spoon. Perhaps it was too hot, or maybe he just enjoys drinking it that way. His girlfriend didn’t seem to mind. She was enjoying her tea too – sipping it sweetly. Someone must’ve told a joke for they all began to laugh. A laugh that reached the sky, and came from the depths of their bellies. It was the kind of laugh that allows all the world’s joy to fill up inside you. A laugh that can only be shared amongst lifelong friends. Then silence. The contrast was so great that I was greeted by the soft rustling of leaves in the autumn-gold trees. I noticed how the shadows danced around this lovely table.
The two boys stood up. I watched from my secluded corner as the boyfriend touched the girl’s shoulder before lightly kissing her forehead. She turned her head upwards and smiled. He then linked arms and held hands with the other boy at the table and they made their way inside. The girlfriend was not at all affected by this sudden isolation. She made no effort to get out her cellphone, no effort to nervously fiddle with the serviette at the table. She sat there smiling at the world – content.
By this time, I had finished my salad. I had made a special effort to taste the food and to notice its texture. It appeared that I was being forced to have a rather mindful day. Looking up again – I saw that their food had arrived, along with the two boys. To my astonishment, the couple then began to feel the food on their plates, and to play with it. They smelled it and licked it before they put it into their mouths. The boyfriend clearly did not like what he tasted and spat the contents out onto the table. The single boy who was with them was not perturbed – he sat there happily eating with his utensils – chatting away. As if to further my amazement, the boyfriend began to feed the girl chips off his plate. She giggled in utter delight and placed her hand lovingly on his knee.
I began to appreciate that I could see this. I began to appreciate my eyes. I was filled with a sense of wonder and gratitude. You see, all the strange things that happened before me happened because the couple was blind and their friend was their eyes. It was then, in my moment of appreciation, that the girl raised her head in her boyfriend’s direction – she paused there as if soaking him in. Time froze while I gazed upon this and was shattered when she gave him her biggest smile. A smile that had the power to light a thousand candles. A smile that he would never see.
Inspiring moments can happen when we appreciate the smallest of things. One should never judge a book by its cover, because when one stops seeing the cover with their eyes, they will begin to see the truth with their hearts.