This lovely little piece I wrote appears in two magazines this month, Creations and Green Living Journal. Here it is for you all to enjoy now. In appreciation of the holiday season, this small, true vignette may warm your heart.
THE QUIET GIFT
At this season of celebration and sharing, many of us extend our love and care for one another with the traditional custom of gift giving. Santa arrives with a slew of colored parcels or we carefully select the perfect something for a loved one during Hanukkah or Kwanza. The preparation of cooking and shopping whirls our often hectic lives up a notch into a stratosphere of commotion. It is fun and crazy-making both. Amid, all the hub-bub, sometimes it is the quiet gift that reaches most deeply into our hearts. I share my experience on such an offering.
Dashing amid the wheels of shopping carts, the grocery store is in a pre-Christmas skirmish of shoppers; hams and clementines topping the neighbors’ wares in the aisle with me. So much effort and love goes into these days of sharing and caring, it seems. I am a tad behind the curve this year, only selecting our tree this Sunday, actually finding the last one in town, my family due in town tomorrow. Now, its’ bushy branches hoist my childhood ornaments of 50 years ago and my son’s tongue depressor reindeer from first grade. Prettily our tree twinkles in colored baubles, filling our home with cheer and anticipation.
The thought I am percolating on though was prompted earlier today in the market. Reaching for a cart, I backed up and brushed the heel of an elderly woman leaving with her bags of food. A mere brush of my shoe and somehow she went into stock still frozen mode. I moved ahead and then glanced back…She remained frozen. I turned and went back to check on her sensing something was wrong.
“Are you Ok?” I ask.
“No. I have a back problem and now am in pain,” an icy voice and stoney glare ahead, not at me.
“I am sorry. I know about pain. Can I help you in some way?” I offer.
“No. No one can help me,” the tone is like cement.
“Should I help you wheel your cart?”
“I am sorry. I didn’t mean to hurt you. My foot just skimmed by your heel,” my sensing words express.
Stillness…no words, no eye contact.
I weave my energy from my heart towards hers…I stay still, too.
She looks at me oddly. I smile. She glowers.
“I hope you have a Merry Christmas,” I suggest.
“Not possible,” she mumbles.
Am I daunted? Am I put off? A bit. Then a thought arises in me. Her cart is shallow in groceries compared to the others. Maybe she is alone?
“So, do you have family to help you?”
It was then that I felt her pain, more than the back or than the shoe skimming. It was the pain of loneliness. I knew that feeling.
I then heard odd words coming from me-“Well, I hope the spirit of your ancestors visit you this holiday. They can be a sort of company, maybe?”
“Yes. I have already lit the candles for them,” the crackled woman says.
Finally, her eyes meet mine. I see the weariness in her soul.
I smile. She tries to. I nod. She moves on, and I hear very faintly-“God bless.”
Motionless, I absorb this moment of grace. I turn and enter into the maze of aisles. The holiday freneticism throngs, yet a quiet pool sits in my chest. Two unsuspect strangers, threaded with a simple gift-that of human compassion.
God bless us all, alone, in company, in comfort, in peace, in need, in joy. It is the gift of the heart that touches most simply.
Katina I. Makris, is an Intuitive Healer, Classical Homeopath, writer and author of “Out of the Woods; Healing Lyme Disease, Body, Mind & Spirit.”