He stood at his office window high above the city pondering his life, looking for something written in his heart to let him know that what he did in his life had made a difference, somehow made someone’s life better. He felt a restlessness in his soul that made him doubt that he had done enough. There were many times he had made a point of giving back to the community, being involved in many organizations and sitting as a board member of many businesses. Still, he had to ask himself this honest question, was the giving back for him as much as for the community. He seemed to need to give back to feel whole.
Picking up the newspaper there on the front page was a photo of him breaking ground on a new town center. Sighing he knew what he did but not who he was. What music did he like, what was the last book he read? While his library was full of leather-bound classics and best sellers you could see the dust on the covers. In truth, he had read very little.
There on the office wall was an amazing sound system, yet he listened mostly to classical music particularly cello music; however, he could not tell you who was playing the music nor who wrote the songs.
Without noticing it he passed the same lady every day walking her dog in the morning and again late at night. After many months he still didn’t know her name and never had the courage to ask her to dinner. Now the emptiness filled him with a sadness that was almost unbearable. He even took dance lessons yet had never gone dancing. In his business world, he felt powerful, in life he felt truly out of place not knowing where he fit in.
Tonight, he was alone in his building, sitting in his office because no one was at home waiting for him. He was too busy to meet people and his friends had disappeared years ago. Now realizing the world he knew was on this side of his office window and what he saw on the other side of his office window was only a view like watching a movie, while interesting it had no impact on his life. It didn’t touch him nor reach inside him. For all, he had accomplished he had no one to share even a quiet meal with. On the street, he saw the woman walking her dog in the light rain. She held her umbrella high and looked up at him and smiled. He smiled back and for a moment their eyes met. She then lowered the umbrella and was gone. Tonight, for a moment he was not alone, for one moment he was connected to another soul. He placed his hand on the window feeling the chill of the night upon his hand and his heart.
After a sleepless night with dreams filled with a thousand scenarios of how to meet the lady with the umbrella, he was late getting to the office for the first time in his life. He stood by the window barely able to see the sidewalk through the torrential rain. He hoped she would walk by this morning allowing him a moment, a connection and maybe even a smile. He touched the window willing away the rain and then stopped, hardly breathing he started writing hello on the frosted glass. In the distance, he saw her walking her dog and she looked up smiling a smile that reached deep into his heart. He boldly waved, reaching out beyond the cold glass watching as she walked up the stairs to his window and wrote hello tracing his own hello then quickly walked away.
He was broken, ashamed at his inability to embrace the moment and do what his heart demanded, what his heart longed for, a moment away from the frosted glass. A quiet knock on the door brought him back, to his empty office to look at his calendar seeing nothing scheduled for this morning. He walked like a defeated man across his magnificently meaningless office and opened the door. Standing there with her dog she shyly handed him an umbrella and asked if he liked dogs and walking in the rain. He looked deep into her eyes knowing that the connect was there. Shutting the oak door, they headed hand in hand toward the rainy sidewalk outside.
Chapter Two by Raissa Urdiales
The city was large and the view to some was considered spectacular. The streets were teeming with life and people scurrying from one place to another. They were grabbing coffee on the go, eating a sandwich as they rushed from one building to the next never stopping to enjoy the world around them because it wasn’t a meeting on their calendar.
She walked the streets with her dog to get a break from her studio and to take in the sights and sounds of the busy city. She looked for where beauty was hiding. She cherished the little moments when a mother gently would give her child a hug and a kiss before sending them into school for the day. She looked for the little flower that would dare to emerge from the crack in a sidewalk. She was always amazed how somehow the fragile flower survived those that shuffled by it daily and how no one ever stopped to take the time to notice its beauty.
His eyes were begging to connect and for a moment she thought that perhaps he was the person she had spent her life looking for.
There was a man that she had noticed recently when she walked her dog. He was well-dressed and appeared to be a confident businessman until she looked into his eyes. They were sad and lonely and looked trapped. She wondered if he was trapped by his own doings or had he felt an obligation to climb the ladder of success and now that he was at the top he realized he had no one to share it with. His eyes were begging to connect and for a moment she thought that perhaps he was the person she had spent her life looking for. Of course, she was a dreamer at heart, many artists are, but there was something about this well-dressed businessman. From the outside, he appeared to be her opposite, but she sensed inside there may be a strange connection.
She enjoyed the rain. Perhaps it is because there would be fewer people roaming the streets and it allowed for natural cleansing of the human condition. She headed out for her morning walk thinking of the man. She had seen him many times but yesterday was the first day he seemed to have noticed her. She came to the point where she typically would see him and he was waving. A flutter in her heart began as she got closer and she felt a smile emerge on her face. As she got closer she saw that he had written the word hello in the window. She traced with her tiny finger in the letters to write hello back and then scurried away.
As she walked away she felt a connection that stretched from where she stood to that pane of glass with the word hello that was gradually disappearing from view. She realized that the man was trapped in the glass tower and his eyes were begging to escape.
She had an idea. She quickly went to the corner vendor swirling umbrellas and purchased one. She went up to the office building and found the office where the well-dressed businessman was. Her heart pounding out of her chest, she knocked gently on the door. When he opened the door she simply asked “Do you like dogs and walking in the rain?” and handed him the umbrella. The smile was all she needed to warm her heart and know that she had made a connection to the well-dressed businessman. He turned off the lights, closed the big oak door, took her hand, and they walked together in the rain.
Point Of View
To be truly happy in life we need to be able to direct a board room with confidence yet be able to dance with passion and abandonment.
Being successful can be sometimes well within our comfort zone; therefore, we excel in our efforts, yet we are anxious when we order a latte. We can speak to a conference of thousands yet not find the words to ask a friend to dinner.
To be whole we must harness the confidence of the businessman and use it to embrace our passions and bring to them the same joy and fulfillment. We must be bold and courageous in our pursuit of a life where we take chances and live the life we dream of living. It also helps to like dogs and walking in the rain, embracing our passion for life then unleashing it.