Went to brunch with a friend after church today. As we walked alongside a park to our destination — where scrumptious pancakes awaited — we were catching up on each other’s lives. I became so involved in telling a story that I almost stepped in dog crap. My friend pulled me away just in time. I picked up the story and again he pulled me away from another mess on the sidewalk.

“Let’s just cross the street,” I said.

“No, let’s just pay more attention,” he suggested.

So I nodded and kept telling my story. All of a sudden we both stopped and gasped with glee. There were Christmas tree ornaments on the ground, strewn about. I picked up two shiny hearts in different shades of pink and almost squealed. I love them. And there was this wonderful antique-looking tin teddy bear ornament and a cardboard star covered in aluminum foil. My friend was happy to find a wooden Mickey Mouse with top hat and cane.

We laughed for a block, marveling at what happens when you “pay attention.” And how one person’s trash is another’s treasure. And how good it feels to get a gift from the Universe.

I’m glad my Christmas tree is still up. I hung the hearts. A message of love hanging from its branches.