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It’s been a full week from one extreme to the next, life transitions, ups and downs and little time for quiet or spaciousness; yet there have been moments. Perhaps more than I have noticed.
One happened Tuesday morning after I had arrived at the pool churned up. Not troubled necessarily, but mind, body and spirit busily engaged from a full long weekend of traveling and preparing for the always-crazy end of the school year.
At first, I was forced to share a lane, which beats not swimming … but not by much. Fortunately, rather quickly, another opened up and I started to melt into the laps. Yes, I had walked out the door without my water bottle; at least, however, I was attempting to get back into the groove. I require a regularity and rhythm that had been out of sync because of social and family obligations and traveling.
Here, now I was returning. To myself, my heart, my mind, my body and, eventually, to God. I struggled with letting the thoughts and busyness go, settling into my lone lane. Then I heard the door click. Another swimmer, I selfishly intimated. I’ll have to share. If I don’t look up when I make my turn-around, I won’t have to. I was stopped as someone called my name and handed me an ice-cold water. “My deed for the day,” she muttered as she walked away. I stared rather blankly trying to register what just happened: a random act of kindness. The woman to whom I said a quick hello in the locker room and mentioned I’d forgotten my water had purchased one from the machine for me.
Instantly, everything changed. As if God were telling me it’s okay, I am not forgotten in the busyness of obligation for others.
I’ve carried that kindness around all week, in and out of ceremonies, last lunches, parades and, even, an unexpected trip into my ob-gyn for a biopsy. Of course, I won’t know results until next week and neither my physician or I believe it’s anything. While this event caught me off guard, I think I might have stumbled more into self pity had it not been for that single action of receiving a cold water poolside. That has been such a reminder ALL week in the madness that even if I am too busy for God, God is never too busy for me. There’s a peacefulness in that revelation. One that prevents me from a self beating because I have not had time to pray, meditate or do some contemplative reading all week.
One that has also kept me from being too weepy after discovering that my cloissinee Catherine of Sienna charm fell out of my prayer-bead bracelet. I think I lost her in Washington, D.C. probably on the subway.
And helped me giggle yesterday at the doc’s office when, after we were finished, I accidentally met him in the maze of hallways looking for a bathroom and he routed me away from the one with the ripe-diaper aroma. And not growling this morning when four kids were jumping over mattresses and couches playing hide-and-go-seek all over my house.
I can’t imagine that kind woman at the gym had any idea how much she’d brighten my week. I am grateful she didn’t think twice about it and followed her heart.
• How has a random act of kindness affected me?
• When I have committed one, how am I able to release myself from any result and just do it because I should?
• Where have I experienced God this week?
• Where unexpectedly?
• How am I gentle with myself when I don’t squeeze in contemplative time?
arriving home Monday evening
on a wave of Washington, D.C.
just in time
for 6th grade graduation,
school to end,
a parade to watch,
birthdays to celebrate
and very little
except for a single soul
quenched my thirst
at the beginning of the week
and I’ve felt that