Stay curious

Some mysteries take years to unravel. When I was on my walk this morning, I spontaneously changed course when I spotted a yard sale; I wandered over to see what gems I might spot (just looking, no intention to buy—I’m all about clutter prevention!). There were some pretty sweet strings of lights, like holiday lights, but there were horses and cowboys covering the bulbs. After a momentary desire to buy, I moved along down the sidewalk and saw the man and woman who were running the show.

Still in the process of setting items out, the man said to the woman, “Well, George has all the heavy stuff,” and the woman replied, “Thanks George!” I assumed George was the guy pushing the dolly with plastic storage tubs stacked high so he couldn’t see where he was going. The woman commented how they had more stuff this time than usual, thanks to George. As I passed the stack of tubs I caught a glimpse of George and was pleasantly surprised to find that he was the older man who I’ve seen wandering around the neighborhood for years.

He initially caught my eye when I’d see him walking down alleys, looking in dumpsters. This in itself isn’t so remarkable, it’s his air of elegance and confidence that always struck me; he held himself as someone who CHOSE to be looking through dumpsters, not someone who looked out of necessity. He always had the same tidy, plaid, collared shirt on and white hair pulled back in a neat low ponytail, sporting a faded yellow backpack. I remember the first day I saw him pushing a grocery cart; no more yellow backpack. I questioned his decision, since to me, the grocery cart dampened his dapperness.

I had no idea what his name was until today. It’s George. I have been curious about George since 2005 when I lived in a building close to where the yard sale was. Now that I think about it, that house was always having yard sales. I did wonder how so much stuff could come from one house, now I know! George.

I believe that familiar strangers are the universe’s way of nudging us. I wonder, what lesson am I to learn from George?