Monday, October 13, 2014

The Mind's Heart

Yesterday, on Thanksgiving Sunday, Joe and I went to a movie. We are having a house full today and we will feast to our fill, so yesterday we ventured out to do a few chores and then catch a flick. When the movie was over we went to the elevator and waited for it to arrive. When it did, three times, it was packed full. Then on the fourth go there was one man on it. He was tall and thin and stood in the middle of the elevator holding on to his  walker. When he saw Joe he began to move aside but when I came into view he moved back to the center and said, "There's not enough room." I asked him to move just a bit to one side or the other. He angrily stated that "There's not enough room." His face set in anger. We didn't desire an argument so we let him go down alone.

Maybe it was just in the spirit of the season but my anger and annoyance at his attitude and behaviour turned suddenly into a spirit of thankfulness. Gratefulness.

I am thankful for those who willingly share space with me, I don't notice them often, maybe only when in the presence of someone who doesn't. Those people who willingly move to the side, or without even noticing create a little more space for my chair. For those who see others as worthy of sharing time and space, I am grateful.

I am thankful for those who live their lives in good humour. The angry set on the man's face, as the elevator door closed, told me that he spends most of his time angered. But there are those who greet me, who greet others, with great good spirits, with laughter and with warmth. For those who live with laughter on their lips, I am grateful.

I am thankful for those who speak to me, and to others, with gentleness. I believe that the welcome in the heart warms the soul of words. I have, at times of weakness, needed to be wrapped in the warmth of words. They say that at the big moments of life, when we experience loss, or disappointment, or rejection, that there 'are no words.' But the words don't matter, it's how they are fuelled with love and with warmth and with kindness. When that happens, every word is the right word. For those who speak with warmth and welcome, I am grateful.

I am thankful for those who's automatic response to the world they live in is kindness. I am speaking of the everyday kindness, the goodness not thought of as goodness but as decency. I am speaking of those who don't actively do 'random acts of kindness' but instead live with kindness in their heart and their heart at the centre of their mind. For those who live kindly, in a world that rushes by, I am grateful.

I am thankful, really thankful, for the people in my life, who fill my life, who provide for me a sense of belonging and of purpose. I am thankful, eternally thankful, for those who have blessed me with time and with welcome, those who are now gone but still present in my heart, who's words still comfort me. I am thankful, really thankful, for now, right now, for this moment and every moment thereafter that comes - the future will be and the past once was but it is 'now' that I own ... and right now my heart is full of thanksgiving.


Jeannette said...

I am thankful -- every day!! -- that you write, and that I somehow discovered your blog (I think my sister sent me a link once, yes, I think that's how it happened...).
You change my life, you lift my heart, a little bit every day, Dave.
Thank you.

Ron Arnold said...

I'm thankful for your words Dave. They are inspiring. In my time, through my context, I've found that when awareness and gratitude lay at the root of my day to day living, I'm always the richer for it.

Anonymous said...

I has been said in the posts above this one! But I am thankful for your blog, your wise words, your feelings expressed. You always make me consider my own life, my thoughts and behaviours. So Dave, thank you! samm

Belinda Burston said...

Beautiful sentiments. When I read these words, "I have, at times of weakness, needed to be wrapped in the warmth of words" I thought of when I have needed that too and found it--and you've been one of the channels of kindness in my life. I'm sharing in the gratitude you expressed for the kindness that is in the world in spite of everything.

Anonymous said...

Maybe the man with the walker needed space too.. maybe when he said there "wasnt room" he was trying to protect his own space and body. He might have felt too vulnerable to risk a close encounter with a strangers wheelchair, of any size. And maybe he looked angry not because he's an angry person, but because self advocacy is a high level skill and many people end up being fierce and grumpy because thats what works when the need is for space...