The kindness of friends, family & blog-readers makes me cry…

A kind gift

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?

What's in the mailbox?

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…

Sometimes kindness is so generous

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.

So cool!

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!

About Kathy

I live in the middle of the woods in Michigan's Upper Peninsula. Next to Lake Superior's cold shores. I love to blog.
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24 Responses to The kindness of friends, family & blog-readers makes me cry…

  1. “… couldn’t even wait until walking sedately back to the house like a proper grown-up!”

    Kathy – this was a DELICIOUS blog to sink my teeth into this late morning after posting my own blog and now working on the HolEssence newsletter.

    You’ll excuse me me while I go make some hot cocoa won’t you
    [the wonderful power of suggestion just hit me] …

  2. Reggie says:

    Ahhhh, what a WONDERFUL present to arrive suddenly, unexpectedly, in your mailbox! And what an inspirational idea…

    • Kathy says:

      Reggie, Barry is reading YOUR wonderful gift right now. He’s enamoured with the idea of foefie slides and thinks we should go to S. Africa to visit one! You are yet another blog-reader who has gifted me so wonderfully.

      • Reggie says:

        Aww… thanks, Kath! Barry clearly has no fear of heights, hm? 😉 If you ever *do* come to SA, let me know, and I’ll give you tons of information on places to see and visit.

  3. Susan D. says:

    Sweet, sweet life … full of good gifts .. thanks for sharing ❤

    • Kathy says:

      Hi Susan D! Been thinkin’ bout you, girlfriend. I forgot to add…Jane and I have never even met! Were we to meet in Pat’s IGA we wouldn’t even know one another. (who’s Pat anyway? sorry the rest of you guys, private joke…too long to explain! It has to do with me forgetting the name of our local grocery store…sort of…)

  4. You’re absolutely right. I wouldn’t have been a proper grown-up either!

  5. Dawn says:

    Beautiful the way blogs can tie people who might never have met together.

    • Kathy says:

      That is so true! Another thing I was thinking~~every time a person comments on our blog, that is a true acts of kindness. (Well, I suppose we could get “mean” comments and those wouldn’t count…) It takes effort to sit down and formulate a sentence or two of support or encouragement or just presence. More kindnesses in our day!

  6. Encouraging post! It seems like what is “cool” in our society these days is cynicism. Sometimes I think we just need to open our eyes more to the beauty around us. There are a lot of horrible things in the world but there are a lot of beautiful things as well. Along with that, there is a lot of injustice and cruelty in the world, but there is also a lot of love and kindness. Sometimes it’s just a matter of what you focus on.

    ALSO, I live in Wisconsin, but I’m from the UP! I was just up there about a month ago in the Porkies area. I was born in the Houghton/Hancock area though.

    • Kathy says:

      Hi learning2live2010…nice to see you here and hear your words of encouragement too. How right you are! So often it is just a matter of what we focus on. Do we want to focus on our half empty or half full cup? (Sorry, know that’s a cliche…but it kinda has a ring of truth.) Nice to meet another person who has roots in our fair Upper Peninsula.

  7. Elisa says:

    OH what a treat! I like my privacy and lack of intrusion. However! I miss sharing a few jars of canned harvest or soup, large chunks of honeycomb fresh from the hives, fresh cream in small jug, pints of soup or applebutter right from the giant copper kettle in the yard of my gramma’s house. We even listened to an old radio all together as a group while cleaning corn or peeling and cutting up peaches in the summer. I love those talk radio shows. Things were slower and seemed not to be so filled with worry about what was coming and more about just doing, now. People came from house to house to do things, like kneel beside the spring and take turns cranking the ice cream ‘thing’, and take turns working the tall wooden butter making contraption. 🙂

    • Kathy says:

      Hi Elisa~~if we were closer I would share a few jars of canned garden food with you. It sounds like you had a wonderful time at your gramma’s house living close to the earth and working together. A different time for most of us now… slower, like you say, less frantic running. The kindness of people maybe had more time to shine through. Thinking of your kindness now and the way you so often add a few words of your precious presence in my life. Thank you.

  8. Cindy Lou says:

    Ahhh…the beauty of simple gifts received! “Hollycocks & Radishes” is one of my favorites….it opens automatically to a few of my bestest recipes!

    Just got back from my walk with the pack – what a gorgemous sunshiny day! That deep blue winter sky, birds singing in the sun, snow dripping from the eaves….life is good! 🙂

    • Kathy says:

      Cindy, how lovely that you have that cookbook already! Wasn’t it a gorgeous gorgeous gorgeous day outside today? The best of February days? Nancy and I went skiing…yes…truly…will probably blog about that tomorrow. Ahhh, we are so lucky indeed!

  9. flandrumhill says:

    What a beautiful crazy-quilt pillow! So artful! Wonderful gifts, all. I love my Audubon field guides and use them frequently. I’m sure you’ll make good use of all those books.

    Kindness can be so simple and yet so incredibly moving.

    • Kathy says:

      Isn’t that a beautiful pillow? I love it so much. I am already enjoying leafing through all the books. You have said it so well. Kindness can be so simple and yet so incredibly moving. Such a gift we can all share with one another. (And, you, Amy, have shared so much kindness in the last year! I am glad we are friends.)

  10. Jane says:

    I felt like a little kid sneaking down the road to your mailbox! So happy you’re enjoying the books and of course you were the perfect recipient for the ” Eastern Woman” with all your insights and the beauty you share here with us.

    • Kathy says:

      Thank you again, Jane. You were playing a wonderful “secret Santa”. Just read the chapter in the Pencil Dancing book that you highlighted. Awe-some… 🙂

  11. Emma says:

    How beautiful!!!

  12. I love this gift! I have the
    Hollyhocks and Radishes cookbook too.
    Oh, you are a magnet for kindness! I will snowshoe with you in my heart! And lend you a hand up anytime! We have tons of snow here today in the Berkshires. Snow day! Love, S

    • Kathy says:

      Suzi, you have that cookbook, too? It is such a small world, and there you are over there in the Berkshires. (I just had to look up where the Berkshires are. Western Massachusetts/Conecticut, Google said.) I hope you enjoy your snow and I love the offer of snowshoeing in your heart. That sounds like a very warm place. 🙂

Although I don't reply to every comment on every blog, I do read all comments with mesmerized interest and try to return the favor by visiting YOUR blog or at least sending you heartfelt well wishes.

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