A Snail’s Place: What it Means to Live Creative
This morning my husband and I went to the supermarket to buy groceries. We worked our way through the store backwards, starting on the side where we usually end up and ending up in the produce section. It was there where this parable grew.
While I stood in line to weigh my beetroot Ian was choosing celery. When he handed me the celery bunch for weighing, I noticed that there in the leafy branches was a small snail. I was amazed and awed and joyful to see this living creature hanging on for dear life in the middle of this vast French supermarché, Carrefour. But there he was, and he was going to come home with us.
Of course immediately I had to pull out my iPhone, take a picture and post it on Facebook. Then I showed Ian, and while he had a very different reaction than I did (“Sometimes you are really weird!”) he was happy for me to do what I was doing.
With my photo posted, I carefully positioned the celery in the cart, and we finished our shopping. Going through the checkout line, I showed the cashier and asked her if she had noticed. A big gasp and a look of horror was accompanied by, “Are you going to leave it like that?!” To which I replied, “No. I’m going to put it outside.” She didn’t quite understand, but she did smile. And we made a connection.
As Ian and I drove home, he commented about how many people I had engaged with in the supermarket, and how many of them were smiling as we walked away. I realized in that moment that this is exactly what it means to me to “live CREATIVE.”
Every single thing that happens in your life is an opportunity to create. Every encounter asks you to make a choice. Every encounter changes you. And you have a say in how.
Every encounter is an opportunity to leave the person (or creature) you meet richer or poorer. You can either stay in the shell of your own life – with your own flavor of the worries, concerns and human troubles that we all have – or you can poke your head out and look around and connect with what’s out there.
“Life,” said Helen Keller, “is either a daring adventure or nothing.”
My experience is that when I engage with my life as an adventure waiting to be revealed I am richer for it too. What can be more creative than that? To look, see, appreciate and take action costs me nothing and gains me a beautiful life.
Coming home, as we got the groceries out of the car and into the elevator, I dashed outside with my celery, broke off the branch with the snail on it and put it in the leaves beneath a small group of trees. By this time the little snail was halfway out of his shell looking for home. And as I went inside, I couldn’t help thinking that he was smiling too.
What does it look like to live CREATIVE in your world today?
Have a story to share? Please do and bring a smile to us all.