As I stepped out onto the street in downtown Philadelphia, I felt invigorated by the cool, crisp morning air. My senses were extra alive that morning. I had just spent most of the previous three hours sitting absolutely still with my eyes closed at a mindfulness retreat led by my good friend and mentor, Michael Carroll.
We had a short lunch break from the retreat. I was heading back to my hotel to grab a bite of the food I had packed.
Due to my heightened senses, everything seemed to glow with beauty in the bright morning sun. The gentle breeze, although chilly, made me smile.
About midway between the retreat center and my hotel, I approached a large man wearing a green winter coat who was sitting on the sidewalk in front of a MacDonald’s.
It appeared as though he had slept outdoors. It also appeared as though he had too much to drink the previous night. He still smelled of alcohol and he had some dried vomit on the front of his green jacket.
I greeted the man with a smile as I approached. He returned my greeting and he smiled, too.
After exchanging a few words, he asked, “By any chance would you be able to get me a hamburger from MacDonald’s?”