Today as I was writing my daily Morning Pages, I was thinking about something I’d written yesterday with the intent of using it for my article in this newsletter. The subject was about shifting away from fear. Afterward as I thought about it I decided it no longer was suitable or desirable to write about and focus on fear. What is needed now for all of us is to focus on love. Then doubt (another form of fear) arose within me.
“How can I write about love when I know so little about it?” I thought to myself. “I know a whole lot more about fear… as do the majority of people on this planet.”
Then inspiration strucketh me.
I was reminded of an incident that occurred last summer when I was walking the trail at one of my favorite local parks. It’s a beautiful forest that skirts the beach for miles. At one point I heard the delightful sound of children laughing and shouting with joy coming from the direction of the beach. As I looked through the trees toward the beach I saw an older couple with two young children. I’m guessing it was grandma, grandpa, and the grandkids. As I stood there for a moment enjoying their fun the grandpa looked up at me. Even though I was quite a distance from them, I could see a huge smile on his face. He raised his arm high and waved it back and forth in an energetic “Hi!”
That brief incident was the answer to my query about my doubts of knowing enough of love to write about it. The energetic wave and smile from the grandpa was an act of love as he shared with me his happiness of being in that beautiful place with his beloved wife and grandkids. That brief memory has given me many moments of happiness and feelings of love as I relive the event.
As I recalled that particular event this morning, I was reminded of similar events that are in my memory. Events that give me moments of happiness and warm feelings of love every time I remember them.
On one such occasion, my husband and I were at a favorite restaurant for Sunday Brunch and were being shown to our table. We walked by a large round table filled with mother, father, kids… and grandma, who was sitting quietly in a chair in the aisle, looking downward while everyone else chatted noisily and happily with each other. As we passed I noticed the beautiful, brightly colored and intricately patterned blazer she had on. I leaned down and said, “What a beautiful jacket you have.” She looked up at me and her face lit up with a huge smile. I smiled back at her as she thanked me and began to talk about how much she loved the jacket. Then I looked up and I noticed that everyone at the table was quiet as they watched this little scene. The mother was looking at me with a loving smile on her face and tears in her eyes as she saw her mother respond to my simple act of kindness. Later I noticed that grandma was animatedly engaging in the family conversation.
The unexpected acts of love and kindness from strangers have great emotional impact simply because they are unexpected. We appreciate acts of love from family, friends, and spouses. However, nice as they are, they’re expected. It’s the surprising acts of love and kindness from complete strangers that arouse in us unexpectedly powerful surges of gratitude, appreciation, and love.
What memories do you have of unexpected acts of love from strangers?
What memories of unexpected love have you given others?