I had errands to do and I wanted to get them out of the way early because the weather is in the 90s and I like to be inside where there is ac. I headed home and as soon as I pulled up the driveway and parked a flood of sadness washed over me, making my way to the front door I did not want to open it due to the absence of my little friend who was always right there waiting for me. I missed seeing her little face staring out the window as I drove up and I didn’t want to feel the heavy weight of emptiness once I opened the door. I thought, “why can’t this just not be real”. Feeling all woe be gone and sorry for myself I opened the door and entered and saw a box of flowers. I thought, oh my gosh, who sent flowers, maybe my parents or some other family member. I opened the box and was so profoundly surprised to find they were from an online friend. Diane, who those of us who have known her for a while call Enchy, short, for Enchylatta. I am so touched by this act of thoughtful kindness, how could I possibly remain pouting after that, and every time I look at those gorgeous sun flowers I am going to snap myself back into that good place of acceptance, during this first most difficult week of loss.
The act of kindness made me think of this poem:
Before you know what kindness really is
you must lose things,
feel the future dissolve in a moment
like salt in a weakened broth.
What you held in your hand,
what you counted and carefully saved,
all this must go so you know
how desolate the landscape can be
between the regions of kindness.
How you ride and ride
thinking the bus will never stop,
the passengers eating maize and chicken
will stare out the window forever.
Before you learn the tender gravity of kindness,
you must travel where the Indian in a white poncho
lies dead by the side of the road.
You must see how this could be you,
how he too was someone
who journeyed through the night with plans
and the simple breath that kept him alive.
Before you know kindness as the deepest thing inside,
you must know sorrow as the other deepest thing.
You must wake up with sorrow.
You must speak to it till your voice
catches the thread of all sorrows
and you see the size of the cloth.
Then it is only kindness that makes sense anymore,
only kindness that ties your shoes
and sends you out into the day to mail letters and
only kindness that raises its head
from the crowd of the world to say
it is I you have been looking for,
and then goes with you every where
like a shadow or a friend.
by Naomi Shihab Nye