November 15, 2017"I think I have what you need," the old street peddler says to the pretty brunette with big brown eyes who's sitting alone in a booth in the bar.
He's one of those old-fashioned vendors, walking around with a box held up by a strap around his neck. The box is filled with matchbooks and shoe laces, combs and tonics—stuff you'd find in the kitchen 'junk drawer.'
He hands the woman a bottle of spot remover, looks her in the eye and says: "This is what you need."
As the classic Twilight Zone story unfolds, you see exactly why. The woman uses her gift to lift a stain from the jacket of a washed-up ball player who's been given a second chance. He's about to use the bus ticket the old man gave him before he got the phone call summoning him to Pennsylvania for a job interview. Two lonely souls helping each other...perhaps to be lonely no more.
Rod Serling, my hero, at his finest—the peddler's uncanny knack for giving people what they needed before they even knew it. The every-day items he doles out that have life-altering affects on the grateful and surprised recipients.
Of course there's someone in the story who's greedy with the gifts. Unappreciative, too. And he keeps demanding more. But as always in Serling's morality tales, the street vendor recognizes that the things the greedy guy needs the most are things he cannot supply. They're spiritual, intrinsic...
Almont native Catherine Lynn Richardson Bristol with her chakra singing bowls at Peaceful Moon Yoga studio. photo by Catherine Minolli.
I'm thinking of all of this because of the Twilight Zone moment I had. Just like in the story, someone gives me something I need—something transformative, and something a whole lot of others needed too.
It starts over a plate of salmon skin and el diablo rolls at Yorokobi Sushi. It's a glorious, late fall afternoon so I opt to sit outside.
I'd just gotten done teaching my Saturday morning and afternoon classes at Peaceful Moon Yoga, and as always was looking forward to wrapping up the adventure with some sushi.
The lone guest in the outdoor seating area, I have a panoramic view of the hustle and bustle of downtown Romeo. Lots of people are out enjoying the late afternoon sunshine, including the willowy young woman who stops by my table.
"I saw your t-shirt and thought I'd stop to say hello," she says. "I think I have something you'd be interested in."
I'm giddy. Though I'm wearing a light sweater, it's not buttoned so my bright white 'Peaceful Moon Yoga' logo t-shirt is visible.
"Oh, great!" I gush. "I just opened a practice in Imlay City...in the Kroger plaza. Do you do yoga?"
The woman's dark eyes sparkle. She hands me a business card.
'Catherine Lynn Richardson Bristol,' the card states. 'E-RYT 200 Registered Yoga Teacher.'
"I'm from Almont," she says. "I know right where the Kroger Plaza is. I have a workshop you might be interested in."
My cursory glance of the card didn't pick up on the details. I don't have my glasses handy, so I miss the finer print.
"Oh, really?" I ask, a bit skeptically. "What sort of workshop do you think you could bring?"
"I have crystal singing bowls," she says.
Full stop. I cannot believe my ears. It is the very workshop I hoped to have at the new studio—the first one I wanted to have at the new practice, though I wasn't sure how I was going to make it happen.
Turns out, I didn't have to worry about that. Catherine came along, having exactly what I needed. And what the 16 others in the yoga room at Extreme Dance Studio last Saturday needed, too. Everyone walked away lighter in mood and in spirit. Many had healing breakthroughs, some even cried, releasing in a good way.
From the first name 'coincidence' to the gift that Catherine offered, I have to say it was a Twilight Zone experience. And while I shouldn't be surprised, I am, just a little bit—and delighted too. Rod Serling knew, and so do I...the Universe always responds.
Email Catherine at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Catherine Minolli is Managing Editor of the Tri-City Times. She began as a freelance writer with the Times in 1994. She enjoys the country life, including raising ducks and chickens.