Every once in awhile, I find myself saying and experiencing something that seems like it’s outside of reality. A few years ago, I was spending a vacation with some great friends in Washington. I rushed around that week marking as many things off of my bucket list as possible.
I hiked in Mount Rainier. I was fascinated as I stood on a pile of snow in shorts and t-shirts. I was even more amazed at a double rainbow that seemed to appear just for me and my moment.
The next day I was able to stand on the beach and listen to the waves crash onto shore.
But my plan from the beginning was to go to Pike’s Place, drink a Starbucks, and watch them throw a fish. And, it was everything I had hoped for. I stood outside of Starbucks with my coffee in hand and listened to a barbershop quartet serenade the pedestrians as they walked by. I walked through all the unique handmade booths and fell in love with the DIY candles and the fresh flowers. I took in all the unique people, art, and crafts.
And…of course…it rained a little!
After the rain let up, we began our stroll again. It was perfect. I was taken it all in, but the perfection was interrupted abruptly with, “Pauley come back.” It was repeated at a loud decibel, over and over. As I looked over, I did a double take. A woman was chasing a parrot. She would yell at “Pauley,” he would wait for her to get close, and as soon as she thought he was in reach he would take off again (and I’m pretty sure if he could smirk, he would have). This happened over and over again.
As I watched this happen, I realized this lady chasing the parrot didn’t have pants on! I was speechless. It was a moment I thought only happened on TV sitcoms; a pant-less woman chasing a parrot through the middle of a tourist packed park! And the scene kept going.
I watched the scene play out in front me, captivated by what was happening. And, that’s when I noticed it. Something even more surprising. The lady hadn’t had time to wear her pants out of the house, but she did have enough time to throw them over her shoulder in the shuffle. So, as she would chase the Pauley the pants would slide down her shoulder and she would push them back up and continue her pursuit.
I don’t think she ever caught Pauley. He just kept moving up the street with her following behind him.
I did learn a few lessons that day:
1. Traveling leads you to unexpected places.
2. Life is constantly surprising, breathtaking, and amazing, and often in ways you didn’t anticipate.
3. Probably the most important life lessons of all was never leave the house without your pants!