We humans have some baffling little habits, and not returning shopping carts to the stand is one for the anthropology class. It’s not because we are pressed for time. We are happy to spend forty minutes every day back and forth in our oversized minivan to go to the gym and run on a stationary treadmill for another forty minutes. But we will not spend the extra forty seconds to walk an empty shopping cart back to its rightful place.
My first experience of a St. Patrick’s Day parade in America was at Chicago in 2002/3. I was studying at the University of Notre Dame – home to the spirit of the ‘Fighting Irish’. A bunch of us decided to make a trip to Chicago to see the river turning
We were running some errands one weekend when I walked into a Toy store for an urgent purchase with my 4-year-old. I knew it was a mistake – going there with him – as soon as we walked in. As he reveled in his Toy heaven, I thought of “What’s in a Toy? What is it that holds the rapture for a child?”
I love talking to my 4-year-old. He seems to have such great questions. “What is a country? Can a diesel train go faster than a race car? Can a zebra run faster than a horse? Can you tell me about the dinosaurs and the big rock? What is ‘relative to’?”
For Thanksgiving, we are planning to take a train ride on Amtrak. The kids are excited. Preparations had to be made, the shopping list was long. Chores done, I drove back from the freeway to the busy main road towards home. Suddenly a strange sense of dwelling took over me.