Mirrored Back

I’m a huge fan of catching the way light bends at a thousand different angles and reflects back on a surface, say glass or water for instance. Nature has such a extraordinary way of catching what it sees. Simplicity at its finest.

Sometimes life can be similar: do something kind for someone, they see it, and kindness is reflected back.

Well….. yesterday I had an interesting experience with kindness and I’m feeling a nudge to share it here. It’s so not my normal post, but sometimes the lessons live in places rarely seen.

So yesterday, my friend had a yard sale. When it was over, there was a lot of stuff left. We loaded it up in my pickup and her car and she knew a place in town we could take it.

I arrived first. I had a really uneasy feeling when I got out and put my tailgate down. There was a sign in the window mentioning video cameras and I looked up and saw two.

Video cameras. In a little tiny town. At a little place with a donation box out front. Hmm.

I took two of the bags over to the donation box, set them down, then stopped because I felt SO uncomfortable.

Video cameras and donations?? I mean, I know I’m old fashioned, but that just seems so contradictory to me.

I decided to wait until my friend arrived. Our kids were with us and they helped us fill up the donation box with items we don’t need anymore to help someone else out.

The reflection.

Like light hitting water and mirroring an image, the kids see kindness, then grow up and are kind.

We finished and got in our vehicles to leave. I had the windows rolled down and kiddos sitting in my pickup, when really nice truck pulled up. I thought they were there to make a donation, too. Cool!

Ummmm… no.

In a mean voice, the words that burst out of the driver’s mouth had me confused at first.

“Are you stealing out of that box?”

Did I say mean? Because it was mean and demanding and he was talking to ME.

You know those moments where you want to turn around and see if they’re talking to someone behind you? Nope, nobody back there.

It took a few seconds for his words to register. Someone was actually accusing me of stealing. Not only that, but stealing out of a donation box we had just filled.

It’s a long story, but the couple in the truck run the place, say they have people who steal, and evidently assumed I was doing the same.

Believe it or not, it ended on a friendly note. After we explained that we had just filled the box and they explained their position and apologized, we went our separate ways, but the lessons still linger.

What bothers me the most is the kids just had this super cool experience of giving their things to help someone else out, then heard all the rest. The windows were down….

So, will this stop me from being kind and making kindness generational? Not likely. I was raised being taught to share and help others when I can, I mean, isn’t that what life is about? We show how kindness works to our kids, they show their kids.

Weird things happen and sometimes people can be completely unreasonable, but maybe it’s good to just keep carrying on. To keep doing what we do, in the ways we do it. Because we never really know when our kindness can change someone’s life.

Want to know the really cool thing about that? Its not up to us to know who that someone is.

Who knows, maybe the next kind soul who pulls in and fills a donation box will be met with grace and gratitude, which is what would be lovely to see, mirrored back.

Leaving Home

It’s the last Friday in this house

9 years of adventures here have lead us to a new road

I savor the quiet of this morning

The way the sun fills up the rooms

Shadows from the window panes laid out across my hope chest

Dishes in the sink

Toy cars strewn about

Birds on the feeder outside our back door

The sound of the neighbor’s tractor as he mows

A white cow in the pasture

20 little birds just flew into the back yard, I’m standing at the back door and here they came

Little Bit sleeping in on his last Friday morning in his “will be” old room

Me, in my pajamas, wandering around my house, embracing these moments

That one day I’m going to miss