I am amazed that so much kindness exists in the world. So much giving. So much opening the hands and heart…so much outpouring of love and friendship and joy into a world that sometimes seems too cruel, too violent, too painful.
Kindness seems to come almost every day, in some form, if we keep our eyes and ears open. Kindness comes in a phone call from beloved parents, daughter or son. Kindness comes in a smile from a stranger at the grocery store. It arrives most unexpectedly every day, usually unbidden, usually without thought. It arrives and showers our day with deep joy.
If we’re alert to notice the dozens upon dozens of times it visits us during the day. If we’re awake enough to realize that this kindness is a gift.
And perhaps we can be alert enough to allow our own kindness to express itself through the mornings, the afternoons and the evenings of our day. A hundred opportunities exist! (Even if we’re simply being kind to ourselves–that is a start–and how often does our cup runneth over when we’re feeling good about ourselves?)
On Tuesday afternoon, gifted with Mike’s aerial photos of the ice forming on Lake Superior, while writing a blog about it, the telephone rang. I scurried to answer it. Guess who?
It was Jane, a neighbor who lives across the bay, maybe ten miles away (less if you’re a raven flapping across the waves and trees). She’s a reader of this blog and has a delightful one of her own. We haven’t officially “met” yet, but that will surely happen soon. Click here to visit her blog.
Guess what Jane is calling about? Her voice sounds merry and excited.
“What are you doing?” she asks.
“Umm….writing a blog…” I say. (What else would I be doing?)
“Go check your mailbox!” she announces. “There is something in there for you.”
Check my mailbox? Something that isn’t work-related? What is she talking about? I must have been momentarily speechless because she said, “Don’t worry, it won’t bite you!”
“Watch out what you say,” I joked, “Anything you say can and will be used in a blog…”
After hanging up the phone, I pulled on my boots and winter coat and sprinted to the mailbox. What could it be?
I chortled in glee, attempting to untie the knot of the plastic bag which protected the gift.. (Nope, couldn’t even wait until walking sedately back to the house like a proper grown-up!) It felt like Christmas! A package wrapped in lovely lavender cellophane presented itself.
Upon arriving at the house, I set it gently on the half-shoveled front porch and snapped a photo or six. Unable to wait any longer, I opened the gift…
Look at this! That’s about when the tears formed. When the shivers of happiness struck. The envelope was addressed to “upwoods” and here are the presents:
1) Mrs. Chard’s Almanac Cookbook Hollyhocks & Radishes by Bonnie Steward Mickelson (A unique look at a little known corner of America, Michigan’s beautiful Upper Peninsula, where the simple values of life…family, friends and the good earth and the good food it produces…still abide.) WOW!
2) Pencil Dancing by Mari Messer. “New ways to free your creative spirit.” YES!
3) National Audubon Society Field Guide to North America Birds. (There will be no guessing about bird species from this household this year…)
4) Call of the Northwoods by David Evers and Kate Taylor (with a free audio CD of wildlife calls.) You will be undoubtedly hearing quotes from this book for a long, long time.
5) A packet of French Vanilla Cocoa with a small wire whip. (Which I am sipping now. Yum…)
6) And the most beautiful hand-quilted little pillow with the Eastern Woman gazing serenely from amidst beautiful greens and blues and oranges and reds.
…Thank you so much, Jane. Your kindness and sharing is unbelievable. It may seem like a simple gift to you–giving from the abundance of your hearth–but to me it feels like a deeper faith in humanity, in our capacity to give of ourselves.
And thanks once again to the many other family, friends and blog readers who share and share and share of yourselves daily.
Life is so much sweeter because of your kindness!
P.S. And don’t any of you fret because I set those books on the half-shoveled deck. They rested in the teeny bit of snow for maybe five seconds before they were whisked into the house. They didn’t even get wet. Promise!