An Impromptu Wedding Present in Action
--by WorldCitizen, posted May 5, 2009
When I got their *personalized* wedding invitation exuding love, creativity and inspiration, my heart was instantaneously filled with gratitude and joy.
Circumstances didn't allow me to attend their wedding in person, but I tried to celebrate their union in a unique way.
Ever since I received their invitation, two and half months ago, I thought about this wonderful couple -- every day, twice a day actually. I thought of the fusion of these two beautiful hearts, and I sent along my secular blessings. (I guess I took the inscription on their wedding invite literally: "No gifts please - Your Blessings is our Gift").
That was the first part of my gift. And the second part was equally fun.
Last Friday, some hours before the wedding, a group of "smile warriors" got together to spread some kindness in our community. Sixty of us to be precise. Instead of spreading into our assigned area on the maps, our sub-group of six people remained seated in a circle. It was raining. And then, the magic started flowing ...
In the circle, all of us first named our intention for being kind. Just listening to 5 other people (most of us who didn't know each other) state their motivation for kindness was reason enough to smile big! Then each one of us (except "shy" Jenny) made a phone call to talk with a family member and/or a person who we haven't seen/talked for a while to express our gratitude for having them in our lives. Someone would call and the remaining five pairs of eyes would radiate their support silently and invisibly. All our smiles increased in intensity.
Then, to carry forth this inspiration of our circle, we prepared a simple song to sing to a random pedestrian. We wrote 3 thank you cards. One was to bus-driver. My note read:
"Dear beloved Bus Driver, Thanks to heroes like you, our community has public transportation in this critical time of global warming. We understand that it is very challenging to drive in a busy city where people are impatient, but we would like you to know, that we are grateful for your time, dedication, effort and energy. We only hope that people in our community follow your responsible example to serve our community and the Earth Community at the same time. Have a wonderful day and please know that we love you."
Another thank you card was for the 20 year-old organizer of the kindness afternoon and the last card for a homeless (or perhaps it should be called homeful) person.
On top of that, we were choreographing a dance to make some strangers smile. During that process, sister Wendy spotted a piano by the hall where we were gathering. We followed her and learned that "shy" Jenny can "sort of play the piano." Baam! As soon as she started playing, the whole place erupted with vibrations of harmony. The magic was overwhelming. The unarmed truth and unconditional love infused every drop of my blood.
After recovering from the close-to-samadhi experience, and during her magnificent performance, I felt moved to just run down the stairs and invite someone else to partake in this amazing gift of Love that was flowing through Jenny. In the rain, with a ripped red jacket to cover herself and plastic bags to cover her heavy metal cart of goodies, was an angel in her forties -- sister Henrieta.
Fully aware of my unusual invitation, I invited Henrieta to step inside of the building to avoid the rain. And then, slowly, one step at a time, we reached the bottom of the indoor staircase. While the magic of sister Jenny kept intoxicating the facility with her powerful notes, I engaged with the expressive eyes of sister Henrieta and explained our idea of "random acts of kindness". And without any hesitation, I invited her to be our distinguished guest. She was confused at first: "A concert? For me?" But as the minutes passed by, and as I gently stayed present, she gave us the opportunity to serve her. As if the Universe was conspiring with us, the music stopped and the rest of the kindness troupe reconvened.
It was a moment beyond words, as I asked Henrieta: "Would you be willing to be present in a concert preformed in your honor?"
She accepted with a big smile. :)
We were ready to carry the cart upstairs but an elevator made the job easier. We arranged a few chairs around the piano and sister Wendy opened the concert by playing in the piano Jewel's "In the end, only Kindness really matters".
As we all sat, I closed my eyes to fully engage my ears and heart with the beautiful music that was uniting us. Jenny was playing music again. Suddenly, the air was thick and filled with compassion and solidarity. No rain, no cold, no strangers, just warm notes and kindred spirits as sun rays. Each subsequent note was stronger and warmer than the previous one. It was another example of how the beauty of life blossoms at its fullest when we surrender to the flow of love. The now not-so-shy sister Jenny said without saying: "Who would not welcome anyone whose heart is filled with nothing but love?" In that moment I understood that trust is the life-breath of society; that deeper inwardness means that one contemplates this whole created Universe and sees in it the image of the divine. I felt how we all are one.
After that profound gift of song, sister Henrieta was happy to stay in the concert for the next act -- the 6 of us singing a song!
"We are here to tell you,
that you are ONE-derful and beautiful.
We are here to tell you,
that you are always home.
We are here to notice,
that your loving is a miracle
and how deeply you are connected to my soul."
After 3 repetitions, we read our individual dedications of the "thank you" card (one of them read something like: "Thank you sister Henrieta for being who you are. We know this is a cold day, but we hope that this card gives you a smile to warm your soul. Please remember that there are people who care about you. Much love, your community.")
Henrieta's eyes spoke volumes. She was touched. She was so comfortable, that she told all kinds of stories of her childhood, how she became homeless, what spirituality and laundry and politics meant to her, and ... how she loved playing the organ! What?! Yes, sister Henrieta started talking about how she was in love with music and how, when she was a kid, she always wanted an organ. We invited sister Henrieta to play something and to have dinner with us, but she already had a laundry/dinner date.
Outside, the concert of water droplets ended too. We hugged and said goodbye to Henrieta, as if she was family.
From our circle to the phone calls to the thank you cards to the piano concert, what a day! While our kindness troupe started with no money to do acts of kindness, we all felt like millionaires, blessed to be swept up by the unpredictable series of serendipities.
Thank you Rahul and Asha, for getting married. Thank you Jenny, thank you Negar, thank you Andy, thank you Marina, thank you Wendy, thank you Henrieta, thank you Universe of Love. Let there be courage, compassion, wisdom and love.
Thank you for putting such effort into making it so special. I can feel the love!
Your experience encourages us to be kind and open hearted even to strangers. Your story presents the true happiness you have received from giving joy.
Thanks for your sharing , it inspires others, in search of true love and joy to do similar acts.