Tuesday, May 26, 2009


There was a small rise into the bookstore and I almost decided to forego the pleasures within. One of my favourite ways to spend a few hours on a weekend is browsing through books and then looking at my purchases while having a cup of tea. We parked and I asked Joe if he was up to the challenge, he was, I was, so we decided to go ahead in. As Joe was pulling the wheelchair out of the trunk an elderly woman pulled into the disabled parking stall beside us. She was up and out in seconds.

We followed behind her but had to pause to let a car pass by. We then noted that she was standing at the door of the bookstore, turned looking at us, holding the door wide open. I wasn't even sure that she had noticed us but was pleased that she had. Joe said,'Great' and we gunned it to make it up the hill and straight through the door. Once in the vestibule, there was another door to be got through. We thanked her for holding the door as I reached to pull the next one open.

"I can return your kindness now,' I said and she smiled brightly. She told us that she was 92 years old and she was never tired of giving or receiving kindness. We wished her well, she wished us well and the browsing began.

It was hard to notice, at first, because I go almost into a Zen state of calm when I'm in a bookstore. But notice I did. The day had taken on a slightly brighter hue, a slightly more fragrent scent, and time passed in a slightly more gentle breeze. I was, oddly, in the murder mystery section when I had to sit back in my chair and just close my eyes for a minute. I didn't realize how sensually one can feel the kindess of another. Its like your soul is being slightly caressed.

For the rest of the day I tuned my antenna to small acts of kindness. I'm sure each time I saw one there was always the flicker of a faint smile on the face of those who gave that echoed on those who recieved. I'm not sure anyone noticed how even the space around the act radiated somewhat.

None of what I saw were big moments of charity or heroic acts of generosity, these were moments probably forgotten about, tragically forgotten about, seconds later. For me, though, it's almost a day later as I write this and I am grateful for having this blog to write. I carried the memory around with me for an entire day, turning the moment and the sensations around in my head, waiting for the inspiration and the opportunity to write this all down.

I want to remind myself about the power of small moments that are created by those with big hearts.


lina said...

Small moments do make a big difference, especially if you take the time to notice and feel them. And your post is often one of my small moments. Nice blog!

CJ said...

Wonderful description!

I will remember this as I go through my days hoping to touch another soul with an act of kindness.

I will also notice attempts to touch mine.

Abby said...

This reminds me of a newspaper article I was reading the other day which talked about sexism and how many women are offended if a man opens a door for them. But I view it the same way you do, holding the door open is a kind gesture, it's about having manners and not simply pushing past someone in a hurry.

In a way, I think all the automatic doors around the place are a bit of a shame sometimes. They deprive people of those few seconds of one holds the door open, the other thanks them, both move on feeling a little better for that positive interaction.

FridaWrites said...

Abi, yes and I'll go through anyway if someone holds the door even if there's an automatic--but I do prefer automatics in many places because there are places where I've sat outside for a long, long time (in the cold and rain) waiting for someone to come along. And then there are those people who come in or out the door after my long wait who won't hold it!--even while I'm requesting it. They're just not paying attention or just don't think about why I'm sitting there.

Once I had to open double doors that are close together at my work (at a location that's not used often), and the pain cost me for quite a long time and prevented me from doing something I had wanted to do for months that evening.

FridaWrites said...

PS, I like your blog title either way, Dave.

Princeton Posse said...

Great new name for your blog!

Suelle said...

Well said!

Anonymous said...

A sweet elderly lady let me unload her grocery cart on to the checkout belt for her today. I smiled for half an hour about it. I'm smiling now, in fact. Gifts work both ways.

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