I've learned that when you truly open your heart and try to connect with others, people will often surprise you. A few of us decided to make some sandwiches today and share them with the homeless around our neighborhood. And this is how we met Michael. Unlike your typical homeless person, Michael started a community garden on a small patch of land on the sidewalk of busy intersection. He was thrilled to show us the beans, tomatoes, bell peppers, and sunflowers that anyone is welcome to take! He said it has sprung up with the help of others who've given him seeds, plants, and soil but mostly because of the kindness of others. Michael, who can often be found playing with his dog named Red-dawg at a nearby park, has a lot to teach. Living on the streets isn't easy but he has really learned to do the most with what little he has. Planting little seeds wherever he can find the space, and watering them. :-)
A few days ago I attended a gathering, where a girl shared that she had recently "lost" her wallet (it was most likely stolen). I remember that feeling a couple of times I've lost my wallet throughout my younger years. And twice it was returned to me (pretty amazing!). I decided to "tag" her with one of my small purses that I actually had with me that day, along with some cash inside and an encouraging note. The trick was to try to get it to her anonymously (since I don't know her, and may not see her again). I quickly went to another area to write the note. And then wrote her name on a piece of paper...and left it by the main door with the purse where she would see it on her way out. I was really nervous and wondered if she would actually find it. I kept ... Read Full Story >>
I went to the beach nearby for some quality time with myself. After a rough week, all I wanted was a book, some solitude, and a good snack. It was a lovely, reflective time watching families come and go for a last warm weekend here in California. Kids joyfully playing in the water, paddle boating, building sandcastles and sharing meals with their families. After a few hours, I decided to walk along the waves to get to my car on the other side as I was leaving. As I was near the end and about to head off the beach, I noticed a girl playing by herself, maybe around 8 or 9. It looks like she built a little sandcastle with a moat around it and was now trying to fill the canal with water. Unfortunately, there was no container around to carry water or the usual sand toys. She was playing ... Read Full Story >>
I reached out to a friend I haven't seen for years. She had recently emailed and in all of my busy-ness, I hadn't had the time to respond to her. This challenge helped me make it a priority.
It also made me recognize how important it is to honor our friendships (past and present). No matter how hectic our life might be, always respond to someone who has reached out to you.
My 12-year-old niece was staying with us for a couple of days. She was remembering some acts of kindness that we did together when she was less than five years old. We talked about how so much has changed, and with the pandemic, how it would be difficult to do so many of those things, especially when it comes to strangers. The next day, I needed something from the downtown area and happened to take her with me. As we walked around on the street, we heard this beautiful male voice singing a very soulful song. We turned around to see this middle-aged man sitting on a street corner with his guitar. A couple was sitting on a bench nearby and listening to his music. After getting a few errands done, we happened to sit at an outdoor dining restaurant across from him on the other side of the street. My niece ... Read Full Story >>