Be kind

Reaching for nourishment

Reaching for nourishment

Be kind, dear one, be kind.

If you can find it in your heart, be kind to one another, for everyone you meet–not just the downtrodden, not just the homeless, not just the friend dying from cancer–everyone you meet–faces some sort of anguish, some sort of fear, some sort of challenge.

Trudging forward

Trudging forward

Most of us humans experience those moments, or days, or perhaps years, of feeling some incompleteness, some sorrow.  We’re not perfect.  We shed tears.  We make mistakes.  We hunger.  We thirst.  We want.  We don’t always get.

The person you glimpse on the street, the one you think has it “all together” does not.  The person with riches, fame and wisdom may suffer from secret addiction, insecurity, pain.

Painfully moving forward

Painfully moving forward

Everyone, simply everyone, especially those whom our minds often judge as superior, wrong, stupid, evil, mistaken–yes, all of us–can perhaps flower under the sun of kindness, the sun of forgiveness, the sun of an encouraging word.

Looking, listening...

Looking, listening…

It’s been snowing hard here in the North Woods, during this endless season of long winter.  Humans fret and fuss because it’s–so–darn–long, will it never end?–but the wild animals are dying now, truly suffering, their bones angled sharp against fur, their weakness evident as they stumble, as they stand hungry beside the roadside, too tired to run through deep snow, looking for branch-tips to nibble, hoping to stave off the specter of death and ravens.



When we returned from Florida last week we glimpsed a doe through the trees.  She stood stock-still as another six inches of snow fell from the Wednesday sky.  Eventually she lay down on a nearby hillside and slept, her warm body melting a hollow in the snow.  She looked like a rock covered with snow.

One small being in a large forest...

One small being in a large forest…

We tossed vegetable and fruit scraps beneath the oak tree.  The doe eagerly chewed and swallowed and dug with hooves for more.  Come weekday, we’ll visit the seed and feed store across the bay and perhaps buy corn.  It’s a small effort.  Nothing big.  But perhaps a large kindness for a pregnant deer that stands maybe one more snowstorms from death’s doorstep.

Perhaps you can’t tell with a single glimpse that she’s that close to falling and never rising again.  Perhaps you can’t tell that the friend you see on-line is afraid, is weeping, feels anger, feels pain.  Perhaps you can’t always tell when the fire of suffering burns beneath a smile, a laugh, the song of life.

Almost invisible.

Almost invisible.

A kind word, a kind action.  A little effort beyond ourselves.  That’s all the world is asking, really.  That’s all this moment is asking.  If we’re present, if we’re not lost in thoughts and worries of our own, perhaps our hands will reach out and feed each other.  Perhaps we’ll hug one another.  Perhaps we’ll move beyond our judgments and pain and simply reach out.

Because we all need it some time.  Every one of us.  You, and you, and you, too.

Nourished by grace.

Nourished by grace.

Perhaps we’ll find an orange carrot and toss it on the snow.  Perhaps we’ll sprinkle yellow corn-seeds of hope.  Perhaps new life will be born as kindness moves through us into the world…  Perhaps a nourished deer might give birth to a sweet spotted fawn.

One never knows.

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.
This entry was posted in April 2013 and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

30 Responses to Be kind

  1. Brenda Hardie says:

    Good Morning Kathy 🙂 Thank you for this tender, loving post ♥ It is a good reminder of a desperate need in this world. Your compassionate heart shines through the words and your pictures speak of your gentle nature. I hope the deer will feel nourished by your gifts. ♥

  2. Kathy – I don’t know why, but your words, “Perhaps you can’t always tell when the fire of suffering burns beneath a smile, a laugh, the song of life,” made me think of this:

    Step into the fire of self-discovery.
    The fire will not burn you,
    It will burn only what you are not.

    — Mooji, spiritual teacher

  3. Thanks for the reminder that it isn’t just us complaining about this seemingly endless winter. The others we share this planet with are struggling more than us. I’m sure the creatures in your north woods are grateful for your kind heart. 🙂

  4. By the way, welcome back! Hope you had a wonderful holiday. 🙂

  5. This is so true–everyone faces things that challenge them–sometimes I feel sorry for myself–then I realize that we are all in this together–no one is unscathed–and treating others with kindness is the remedy–of that I am convinced.
    Glad you are back–missed you but hope you had a lovely time.

  6. Stacy says:

    One really never knows, Kathy. I tried to tell my kids (when I was a teacher) that everyone has a tough row to hoe, even if appearance tell us otherwise.

    I hope you had a wonderful, warm vacation – we missed you! ❤

  7. Robin says:

    Such a loving post. You brought tears to my eyes. (At first I typed, “You brought tears to my mind.” Perhaps that’s true, too.) Loving, tender, wonderful message, Kathy. Thank you. And welcome back. 🙂

  8. lisaspiral says:

    sweetness on Sunday morning. I am reminded of stopping at a rest area and seeing someone digging through the trash for food. I went back to my car and made a sandwich (because I could) which I offered up to the man. Small things sometimes make a big difference.

  9. debyemm says:

    It’s so true, as you say, we think other people have it all together and that is never the whole truth. There may be moments, there may be fortunate circumstances, but we each have our challenges and difficulties. I call kindness “loving generously”. While we may wish to challenge another at times to rise to their innate greatness, we need only remember we’ve not always reached our own marks.

    We’ve put out feed for the wild turkeys, when the ground was covered in snow for too long. I have taken the mother Raccoon her own bowl of dry cat food, in part to allow the back porch kitties to have theirs, and in part because I knew she had babies and I know how ravenous a nursing mother becomes with growing young.

    We have handed some bit of food already in our car, or bottle of water on a hot day, or even some small change to a person begging on a street corner. One can become cynical about such things, but the reason the person is there never truly matters. We wouldn’t voluntarily change places with them. Perhaps that says everything.

  10. marion says:

    Kathy- I am so glad you got to go see your mom and dad and other family. This has been a rough couple of months for me and my family. I so enjoy your blogs and the one today is great. Your blogs are so inspiring and truthful. Love to you and family, your cousin, Marion

  11. Heather says:

    Another kind and thoughtful post. It’s good to have a reminder to be the best version of myself, and perhaps help another be the best version of theirs. A kind word doesn’t cost a thing, and yet it may be valuable to the recipient. Wishing we all make it through unscathed.

  12. john says:

    Thank you Kathy … thank you.

  13. Joanne says:

    Hello dear Kathy, it seems like forever since we last spoke and I have missed your beautiful words, so full of wisdom.

    Kindness is a boomerang, you know. When we take the time to show kindness to another being, it nourishes your own soul also. I do hope you will follow this up at some stage, if you can, to let us know how the doe is getting on. (((hugs)))

  14. Elisa says:

    We aren’t a television commercial and we aren’t negative if we speak a truth or become unable to cover a truth with the tv idea of success. On the plus-side, I’d say learning to act as if, as a tool is a good thing, perhaps though, knowing when to throw up the hands and to announce that one simply can’t is also a good tool.

  15. lucindalines says:

    Thanks for reminding us that this world is NOT just about ourselves. Also thanks for feeding that deer.

  16. Barb says:

    The truth shines through your words. What we don’t see and perhaps can never know about others may be what actually defines them – and us. It snowed 2′ in Breckenridge in the past 3 days. Perhaps the bears who chose to come out of hibernation are now returning!

  17. Being kind to all living creatures, including our fellow man, is such a good mantra to live by. What a wonderfully sensitive post. As long as the winter has been for us, you so rightfully note that it likely has been much longer for someone or something else.

  18. sonali says:

    very thoughtful. I never knew the snow, for such a long time, could do so much damage to the living beings. Well, what does it cost to be kind? but, it can touch life. Yes; kind, polite, considerate, gentle – I wish the world turns out to be. Thank you for composing your thoughts so well and sharing them across.

  19. How touching. And don’t we all have those moments when we are at the end of our rope and someone lets you check out ahead of them, or waves you in in traffic and it means so much…

  20. dorannrule says:

    I think you may be the kindest person I know.

  21. Kathy, your post made me remember what the Dalai Lama said about his religion being very simple, that his religion is kindness. There is something deeply spiritual about connecting with other beings by means of small acts of kindness… Thank you for being so compassionate and thoughtful to the unfortunate doe – I have a special place in my heart for deer… I hope she and her fawn-to-be fare well.

  22. Lovely post, Kathy! I agree – it is never a mistake to be kind and always needed.

  23. Dawn says:

    You are correct, it is not always possible to know where help is needed. So, to offer something wherever you can, to whomever you see….or whatever you come across…that’s the way to live a good life.

  24. Kathy, thank you for always being kind . . . and giving us a living example of the power of kindness.

  25. Yes, please feed the dear deer. You’ll be rewarded for your efforts to keep her from starving.

  26. Dana says:

    Beautiful, Kathy. Absolutely love this. The mantra of kindness has been hitting me hard (in a gentle way) lately. Our very lives depend on the kindness we show ourselves and others!

  27. Pingback: April madness | Lake Superior Spirit

  28. Beautiful. Soul-stirring.

Thank you for reading. May you be blessed in your life...may you find joy in the simple things...

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