I was driving to an appointment when I saw something interesting. A guy I’ve seen for years riding his bicycle around the town next to mine was standing in a Shaws parking lot with a big green trash bag and a hundred seagulls flying around him excitedly. The source of their excitement was the bread crumbs flying out of the green bag as he lifted it, shook and twisted it.
This man is well known in town, and I’ve known him as the bearded bicycle guy who rides up and down the major retail stretch between two towns in Massachusetts and New Hampshire. I’ve assumed he was homeless, but maybe he’s just and avid bicyclist with plenty of time on his hands and a penchant for recycling bottles and cans. Either way, he’s pretty harmless. I suppose I could stop and ask him about himself someday, but I’m more likely going to just keep driving. That probably says more about me than him. We all have busy lives to live, and stopping my car for a moment to ask an apparent homeless man what his story is seems like more commitment than it’s worth.
Bearded bicycle guy is different from me, but he wasn’t looking at all concerned about it. So why should I be? He’s just another guy marching through time, just like me. The difference between us this morning is that he was the center of a storm of his own making, as a hundred gulls swirled around him for their feeding. They obviously knew the drill well, and were as attentive as the gulls that follow a fishing boat as it heads back to shore with the fishermen cleaning the fish throwing scraps over the stern. And he was clearly enjoying the moment as much as the gulls were.
I’m not sure who is having a more successful day. I’ve booked some key meetings, moved some projects forward, caught up with two guys I went to college with, worked out this morning and read a few pages in my book before I went to work. It’s been a good day. And yet bearded bicycle guy was having every bit as much fun, perhaps a lot more, than I was. He may just do the same thing tomorrow too.