Candy Bar Corner

It was a street corner filled with flying candy bars. Bitter cold January morning in Indianapolis, sun struggling to make a difference, and I was on my way to the office. I stopped at 75th and Shadeland and there in the middle of the intersection were flying Snickers and sliding Three Musketeers. Three boxes of candy bars were being mauled as cars raced by, tires flipping cold and chaotic candy bars all over the intersection.

I wondered, "Where are all the kids?" I was tempted to stop in the middle of the intersection, get out of my black Subaru GT and like a kid chasing dollar bills dropped from the back of a Brinks truck, collect as many of the unmashed bars as I could gather in my arms.

But, I didn't stop. I watched, and as the light turned, I drove over the hapless bars and headed on to work. I wondered, "What happened to the little boy who grew up at his parents Dairy Queen in Monett, MO? Where is the little guy who excitedly spotted a penny in the gravel of the parking lot, picked it up, polished it off and carried it carefully in to share the good news with my mother? Where is the little boy who delights in the little sweet gifts that fall from the sky (or from the pocket of some unsuspecting customer, or from the back of some truck carrying candy bars)?"

I wondered, "Have I become so gorged on the sweet gifts of life that I fail to delight in the little ones that fall in my path? Have I become so accustomed to having what I need and getting what I want that I fail to notice the candy bars that just appear out of no where? Am I so busy and moving so fast that I fail to stop and pick up the unexpected delights that fall my way? Am I part of a society that is so obsessed with getting somewhere we are not that we fail to delight in where we are?"

I don't know what candy bar corner was all about. I don't know where the candy came from. I don't see many people buying whole boxes of candy bars in the grocery store. I seldom see boxes of candy bars being carried down the street in open trucks. (The fact is, I seldom see food of any kind in open bed trucks where it could fall off-except tomatoes in the summer heading for the Red Gold factory in northern Indiana). As far as I could tell these wayward collections of wrapped calories just fell from the sky to stir storm-like in the middle of that unsuspecting intersection.

But, what I do know is that I might stop in the racing around of my life and notice the moments that come to me in the lives of other people who come my way. I have missed much because I failed to slow down and pick up the pennies that others have discarded. I have sought to fill my soul with "meaningful and purposeful" activity and in the process, missed the delight of "sweets from heaven" that simply come for a moment and lend light to my soul.

I suspect those candy bars don't really have any purpose or meaning. But, I am grateful they slowed me down to notice my own life.