So, there’s new shopping trolleys at the Aldi.
At first, I didn’t notice. The extra height. The smooth glide of synchronised wheels. For the first time in a long time, my wrists weren’t jammed as I tried to steer an inevitable gammy wheel.
I had 4 smalls in tow with a fair slog of dry goods to buy, so I went about my shop with this new beast on auto-pilot.
Auto-pilot is part of the appeal of Aldi. Every shop has the same stuff. Positioned and ordered exactly the same way. So that no matter what suburb you shop in, you know where you are in the fullness of the aisles. Without thinking, I cut the middle section of the room, get all the basics I need and halve my time spent under the fluorescent lights.
While maintaining my mental health exponentially as a result.
This auto-pilot mentality probably why I failed to notice the superior slide of aerodynamic stainless steel perfection. The glide of the newly aligned 4 wheels.
I find shopping hard for the family at the best of times. I always seem to forget something important. I find shopping even harder WITH my family. I always want to punch one of them.
But this time we filled our trolley and no blood was spilled. I packed the goods into the boot while the 4 smalls piled into their seats.
Upon which I went to the nearest trolley return bay. It was with the muffled sounds of smalls laughing amongst the continual hum of the carpark that I switched off the auto-pilot and finally noticed – I think this trolley is different.
The fact evident as I tried to jam the shiny aerodynamic beast into the older model, single trolly in the return bay. The inability to connect together – the rusted old trolley and the shiny new beast – meaning I couldn’t get my $2 back.
Another return bay. Another trolley rejection. Another woman pushing an empty aerodynamic beast joined me.
By the 5th return bay, we were 4 women. Different ages, sizes, backgrounds – all pushing around empty shopping trolleys in a full suburban carpark under the midday sun. All moving off our auto-pilot. All trying to get our freakin’ $2 back.
“This could almost be a film clip.”
There was laughing and joking as we pondered on who would be singing. They thought Creedance and Tay-Tay.
I thought it screamed Peter Gabriel.
With our dis-connecting trolleys, we walked in unison -holding up traffic – until we were full of pushing emptiness. And went inside the shop.
Where 1 by 1, we returned our full emptiness into the line of shiny beasts. Where 1 by 1, we collected our $2 coin. And then 1 by 1, we collected our empty fullness – and returned back to our lives.
Think partner work, forearm inversions and se-va.
It’s sometimes hard to notice when things are going smoothly. Easier to notice effort rather than ease. Easier to move through auto-pilot rather than participate. But when auto is off and effort is shared, effort is light.
And participation full.
Bringing with it the emptiness of self and the connection to a deeper intimacy with relationships we have.
Whether it’s relationship with your lover, your smalls or the women you walked around a carpark for 10 minutes with – Committing to a connection of an objective, be that as big as world peace or as small as getting $2 back, is opportunity to empty ourselves of our stuff. To switch from doing to being. And to open to the fullness of light and love of others.
At one stage I nearly offered to leave my $2ed trolley in a return bay. An offer to end the crazy walk of pushing emptiness. But I realised how full I was getting from their laughter. How full I was getting from their presence.
How full I was getting from their light.
After the women had left, another bloke came to get a new Aldi trolley. I went to tell him that it wouldn’t fit in the return bay outside.
But I didn’t.
He can decide who will play his film clip. And if he really wants to get his $2 back.