Running from one place to another, there was a real squeeze on time, extra traffic to complicate matters, and simply too much going on for one day. After racing from one appointment to another in Neighboring Town with no time to spare, I parked and sprinted as fast as my gimpy knees would allow for the sets of automatic doors leading into the doctors' office building. An older woman was very. slowly. shuffling. along. the. sidewalk. She passed through the first of the doors just before I could zip past her. *sigh*
The initial flash of irritation and panic that I would be late after all my rushing passed quickly, and I stood waiting with the elevators within sight, but beyond reach without rushing past the woman making her way oh. so. slowly across the few feet separating the doors. Patience kicked in as I opted to stand quietly waiting while the lady took one careful step after another across the space between the outer and inner entry doors. I ceased to feel the seconds ticking as I imagined her progress to reach this point from the parking lot. Once she cleared the second set of doors, I went on past her to the waiting elevator in hopes the pair of drug reps inside would not allow the doors to close on me as the rush resumed.
Except the pair not only held the door for me, but the gentleman leaned out to ask the still. steadily. shuffling. lady if she was going up. And she was. And my patience was not required because another person was taking up the baton of Patience to run with it. Eventually, Shuffler joined us asking for the floor before the one where my own doctor was located. When the door opened there were two women waiting to board. One was a stranger to Shuffler, but she immediately stepped forward with a nurse in scrubs to assist Shuffler in stepping off. Stranger offered to go along with Shuffler to her eventual destination in the third leg of our relay. The nurse stepped in calling Shuffler by her Mrs. Name, and took the final leg to see the lady to her appointment rather than proceeding with whatever errand she had been about when the elevator arrived.
As soon as the elevator doors closed behind that scene, the seconds began to tick again. Pshaw. Banishing thoughts of time, I offered up a prayer of thanks for the opportunity to see a series of people choosing kindness over convenience. Patience over busy-ness. How entirely lovely. Walking into the office minutes later to sign in, there was a sense of general amusement to discover that I was two minutes early for my own appointment.