I met a man last week who grows purple peppers. His stand was located at the back corner of our local market. I was exiting when his sign caught my eye, "Homegrown Purple Peppers!" My posture perked up and I thought to myself, "I am about to see what I have never seen before!"
My eyes perused the scene for purple and then suddenly I realized that my excitement had drawn the eyes of another to me. Then we met. The farmer behind that stand and me. Simple eye contact was enough to know that we both value an invitation out of the ordinary; an invitation people were likely walking passed all day long.
This weathered man with his wrinkles, bright eyes and queer sign motioned me to his stand and I humbly obliged. He then pulled a basket out from under the table and said to me, "These are my darkest purple peppers, and these are for you."
I stared wide-eyed for a moment and then unashamedly made some loud and happy noise. Twisting those purple peppers in the air, I adored them like diamonds and then plopped them into my bag with a broad smile and satisfied sigh.
The man chuckled. Our eyes met again - as we realized that we had both just made a new friend.
Two grins. Departure.
When I got into my car afterwards my first thought was, “That interaction could not have happened online.” Odd thought? Perhaps … but its something I've been thinking about.
I heard about a man recently who was very lonely. As a result he decided that he was going to start choosing human interaction whenever it was his choice. This meant going into the bank teller instead of using the drive through ATM, shopping in person instead of online, stopping at the cash toll booth to look the person in the eye and say “hi,” … and so on.
In his own account, his feelings of isolation and loneliness began to dissipate. The interactions were not deep, meaningful, or profound. They were just interactions.
Face to face interactions with people breed something in our lives that cannot be fabricated any other way.
Food for thought.
Purple food – for thought.
Katie Luse is a speaker and writer who is passionate about navigating life with eyes on a hunt for beauty.