Sometimes I wax Shakespearean when I'm in pain.
You should've heard me when I was in labor. It sounded like King Lear in the delivery ward (ba-dum-bum)...
In case you didn't know, the human body miraculously loosens its joints when a woman is going to have a baby.
The part two of this fact is that it takes months for the joints to settle back into their comfortable places again.
During which time period, backs can go out.
Especially if you lean over all wonky with a whopping 21-pound-baby in your arms.
ANYWAY, I digress. Nevermind the abysmal depth of my suffering-no, no, I'll be...(hand on forehead)...alright.
Actually, I wanted to talk today about the kindness of strangers. There's so much bad news. Economy. Politics. The owner of Segway dying because he drove his Segway off a cliff accidentally. (Look, I know it's tragic, but don't pretend you're not laughing, too.)
And in the midst of the suffering, and bad news, and egg recalls, let's celebrate the kindness of strangers, upon which Scarlett depended so much.
Recently, a Kind Sir sponsored a giveaway on this blog. A beautiful wooden bowl was featured. I enjoyed interviewing him, and I loved giving something away. I've been too poor lately to be able to give much away, so it was a blessing to bless someone else with someone else's blessing of a woodworking talent.
Anyway, the Kind Sir, being kind, so thoroughly enjoyed being featured here at the Big Red Couch that he said he wanted to send a small thank-you gift. This took me aback, but I thought it was kind, so I said that'd be fine.
In the mail yesterday, Kind Sir's wife sent a beautifully penned thank-you note (I've never met this charming couple) with a delicate, crocheted bookmark in it, which was handy, because I'm reading a thick paperback book right now and keep manhandling it by leaving it upside-down and open, because I don't have a bookmark, which is ridiculous, because I read so much. All my bookmarks are in storage.
So I thought that that was the kind gift, and then she wrote that the kind gift was on its way, but she wanted to express appreciation in the mean time through this delicate, handcrafted bookmark.
Now, I don't know about you, but the tender kindness of strangers that transcended online interactions was very touching. It's been so dark, lately: no one has jobs, and everyone is losing their house, and fish in the Gulf of Mexico are dying, and Peruvian miners are trapped, and I put my back out - which of course ranks right up there with the rest - and I was touched. I just thought it'd be fun to host a giveaway. But it seems, it was more than that to this artisan.
It got me thinking about other strangers' kindnesses: the time someone helped out when I was in school and foolishly ran out of gas on the side of the road; the times people held the door for me when I was a thousand months pregnant; the time a lady paid for my latte when I realized I didn't have any money in my wallet; the times tired-looking folks at the grocery store tell me to go ahead of them since I have two things and they have twenty; the time an anonymous someone paid for my senior trip in high school (still don't know who...); the time people have called out, saying "oh! your scarf - " or "oh - your change!" or "oh - your glove" or whatever I have forgotten or dropped; the time a bunch of women I'd never met came to my baby shower and shocked me with their generosity; the time...
I am so thankful, today, for the kindness of strangers; for Providence wearing L.L. Bean turtlenecks or Reebok sneakers or whatever you randomly notice about the person standing in front of you or behind you or next to you, who you don't know, but who is kind.
I hope today you can quickly think of several instances in which strangers were kind to you. Strangers who held a door, or gave your car a jump, or paid your grocery bill, or left a note on your windshield saying "it was me that put that dent there, here's my insurance information," or said "wait - your change!" or "no, go ahead of me, it's okay"...
Please share a few of these experiences with the rest of us.
I am so thankful for the kindness of strangers. I bet you are, too.