I was having a crazy morning, running too far too fast: dog walk, coffee pick- up, book selection, a sprinkle of errands, all before a ten am appointment.
Did I mention that the library opened at 9am?
I whisked into the library, scanned the shelves for a charming, informative book for my ESL student and found it. I was grateful for the ease and perfection of the moment. I powered to the counter at 9:12, enough time to change my clothes and be ready for my client.
“Your library card?”
“My – uh no,” I flipped through my wallet. “Oh – “ I looked imploringly at the gentle face behind the counter.
“You need your card,” he smiled.
He still smiled.
"But, I just returned two books; they are still in the bin. That proves I am who I am,” I offered. I think tourists checked out too many un-returned books, so now you must have a library card.
“I’m sorry,” he appeared to genuinely offer. “I can hold them -"
“Oh, I need one for my 10 am appointment. I don't have time to come back," I stalled and scanned my mind. "Can you hold them while I look in my car?”
I knew my card wasn’t in my car, but the walk gave me a chance to plead to the Goddess of Serendipity to please let my card be in my car console.
The card wasn’t in the console.
I returned inside the library, defeated but accepting. This was my poor planning; my unimpressive last minuteness; not the librarian's. Plus, I really liked the guy that worked in the library; he was sweet and gentle. Always. And I came to the library a lot.
He was holding the two books that I had returned a moment ago in his hand, “It’s, ok,” he said.
“I don’t have my card,” I simultaneously spouted.
"Yes," I automatically confirmed. Then I heard him. In hope, I ventured, “Really?”
“Yeah,” he smiled. “We could all use a break, yeah?”
“Yeah. Oh, yes. Thank you,” I brimmed over.
I know it isn't the biggest of things, but in the moment it was. It altered my day from catastrophic to serendipitous.
Oh, and here's the book: