The Miracle Shoe

Miracle shoe

So I’m in New York, at the Nike store, looking for a funky pair to wear on this trip. I walk a lot. I love walking. That’s why I’m forever drawn to cities that are made for walking. I remember when I moved here in 2004 how the blocks system worked so well for me. Howard Gardner over at Harvard wrote about the seven intelligences. I think he’s taken them up to eight now, adding spiritual intelligence. Nice!

One of the intelligences is spatial. He describes how you would be able to leave a little kid in downtown Boston (which is truly a maze in terms of the road system) and they’d be able to sort it out. Yours truly here can barely read a map. So hard for me to do… At the same time, I speak loads of languages, love reading and writing and would probably score a good one on the spiritual too. Some people have verbal skills, some have musical, some have kinesthetic. We all usually have a few.

Back to the Nike store. So I look around, not feeling fascinated by anything in particular. Just then, I spot a pair that a lady in the store is trying on for size. I move closer and realise I would love to try that one too. She tells me she’s buying a second because she had such a great experience with the first pair! Sounds good. I ask one of the vendors to try it on in size 9.

He returns with a box and says it’s the only one left. I try it on and it feels too tight. I’ve always been a size 9 at Nike. He explains that different models fit differently. I’m still thinking I’m always a 9 in Nike. I ask him to double check and he says it’s an 8. So I understand why it’s too tight. I ask him to see the boxes around the other lady, perhaps she has a 9? She says yes and hands him a box. I try it on and it’s still too tight. Now he’s really singing the “different models fit differently!” Again, I ask him to check and it turns out it’s an 8.5.

By now, I’m looking at the shoe, really liking it and contemplating whether it’s ok for me to take it and just get on with it… I’m tired, jet-lagged, really need a pair. I like this one a lot but it’s not perfect. Just at this moment, a man pops up –literally out of the blue (some of you know how huge that store is!) – with a box in his hands, asking me if I’m looking for a size 9?

The salesperson who’d been helping me looks over at me and says: “It’s a miracle shoe!” and we all burst into laughter as I reply “I’m in the business of miracles.” It was truly a sensational moment because quite miraculously that shoe did appear out of nowhere. And it appeared just as I was very aware of how I was about to consciously choose something that didn’t quite fit.

I loved that moment. Here I am, over a month later, still thinking about it. It’s such a parable for life. As W. Somerset Maugham discovered “It’s a funny thing about life; if you refuse to accept anything but the best, you very often get it.”

It’s the Cinderella thing all over again. There is a shoe that fits perfectly. And if we can get clear enough on what we want and refuse to accept less than that, it will show up. Miraculously 🙂