Does It Matter?

We were in New Brunswick or was it Nova Scotia? There was a donut shop at the gas station. Was it a Tim Horton’s or a Red Robin? 

Does it matter?

I stopped and Sue got out to take a break. She was already walking away from the car as I opened my door when a wild weird wind took the door from my hand, without warning. It reached into the pocket where I kept all the receipts from our trip, grabbing them and laughing a gusty laugh, it blew them in an instant: without warning, nine of them. Or was it ten? 

Did it matter?

In a silent split second they were swept out of my reach and across the parking lot as I watched frozen for the moment before attempting to grab at two or three of them remaining at my feet. They teased me, holding still as I bent over, before the next gust launched them on their way.. 

Seeing my problem, Sue began to scurry, but they swirled past her, frantically flying to the far end of the lot  where a man and his son soon joined the chase.  “It’s ok!” I yelled, “It doesn’t matter!” But they continued their cause, attempting to capture my papers. I hurried in their direction and a moment later stood with Sue next to the little boy and his dad as they handed me the receipts they had managed to recover. Was he 4 or 7? 

Does it matter? 

Sue and I shared our gratitude. Then we noticed that the little guy was gently cupping his hand, carefully coddling a precious something. It took a moment of staring before we could identify his tiny treasure. It was the limp body of a tiny bird. “We’re going to take it home and bury it,” his dad said.  The little man opened his hand and we saw the lifeless hummingbird, sleeping passively, lying still, without breath, in his hand

.I reached into my pocket and felt for a coin and retrieving a Canadian dollar, golden, shiny and new, I handed it to the little man and thanked him for his help. His eyes lit up as he stared at this unexpected gift as though the coin were indeed made of gold. His young face glowed with surprise, with wonder, and  with gratitude.

Later, as we continued our journey, I smiled at this, our newly minted memory. Did it matter when or where it happened?  Was this boy traveling with his dad in the semi trailer we saw parked?  Did it matter? Where had they come from? Where were they going? We’ll never know. But there, in a random parking lot, a memory was made. A memory containing life’s many lessons, life and death, success and achievement, gratitude and family and reward. Life lessons, distilled into a moment, a memory, a memory seed that may grow into an early event perhaps given import in a boy’s young life.  He’ll never know our names, and may forget as I have, whether it was New Brunswick or Nova Scotia. Does it matter?

I like to think that he’ll remember the time when he found a little bird. When he and his dad helped some people. When he was given a golden coin. The details? They’ll be lost in memory’s fog, the names never gotten, but the emotions? They will distill into story, and really, isn’t that all that matters?                                 

Entertaining audiences for over 25 years, Mike Perry appears at schools, festivals, picnics, parties, and variety shows. His performances incorporate: comedy, circus skills, magic, storytelling and audience participation, to excite and inform, educate and entertain children of all ages.

“Growing up is optional. Having fun is mandatory! “

Book him now to entertain at your next event!

© Mike Perry