It happened on Mother’s Day, Dixie and I out walking the hood as we often do. We walk a lot. Always have. Lately, other people have been too. The streets are filled with walkers, and Mother’s Day was no exception. Whole families, masked couples, unmasked couples, social-distancing friends, people with ears plugged with earbuds, all of them walking. There were runners, joggers, skateboarders, stroller pushers, so many people out and about, inviting Dixie and I to practice what we call snake walking. It’s something we’ve come up with since the pandemic. No more as-the-crow-flies for us. We see someone up ahead, we cross the street, or cross into the street and walk there—if there’s no traffic—to avoid the possibility of either of us unknowingly breathing deadly droplets on each other, though from what I’ve read, it’s pretty unlikely to pass Covid-19 on just from passing someone on the street. Still, it seems to put people at ease, and these fretful days I think everyone needs a little of that. Besides, this twisting path has an added bonus: it adds extra steps onto our Fitbits.
Mother’s Day the sun was shining, and we’d turned down a side street that was free of other walkers. We were in the middle of what I’m sure was a very deep conversation (though I can’t remember what it was) when I noticed a handmade cardboard sign across the street that said, Free. I don’t know about you, but that is a word I simply cannot pass by without at least taking a look. So we crossed.
Two tables were set up in the driveway of a sweet little stucco cottage. On one was a colorful sign that read HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY! TAKE ONE! FREE!!!!!! There were arrows pointing to a bucket of wrapped bouquets on one table, and some cool succulent arrangements on the other. The bouquets were overflowing with Peruvian lilies, delphinium, roses, yarrow. The succulent arrangements were housed in interesting bowls and cups and filled with colorful gravel. One I remember distinctly was in a star-shaped candy dish. It was gorgeous!
But I am not a mother. I am also drowning in plants and flowers in my own yard. We were also about a mile and a half from home and didn’t feeling like carrying anything, so, after admiring the artistry that had gone into each piece, we moved on—for about half a block, when I just couldn’t resist taking something. I mean, whoever it was who had made these things had put so much work into them. And they had created something pocket-sized.
I returned and plucked from a tray a champagne cork with a succulent stuck in the top. I had no idea what one was supposed to do with such a thing. Still don’t. Is it supposed to grow there? Should I water it? But after taking the little offering, I just happened to look up at the house, and there in the window, partially covered by a curtain, was a boy who looked to be about eight years old. He was clearly watching to see who would take one of his creations. He waved. I waved and pointed to the amazing display, mouthed the words, “Beautiful! Thank you!” I only wished there were more people on the street to see what he’d done.
Walking away, my eyes filled with tears. What a generous spirit he was. What a world we are living in.
That’s it for today. Remember: live the love, it’s all we’ve got.
Yes, yes, yes. We just can’t let the overwhelming cacophony of divisiveness overwhelm these moments of grace. Thank you for sharing.
and how it can be so sweet and tender
I’m so glad you and the little lad made a heart connection
You never know, he may be telling the story of you, his champagne cork creation, and how you two discovered each other.
It might be one of his short stories someday!
Living the life and staying open
True enough. Stories. We all have them.
I loved this poignant piece! We need more of that spirit all over this nation. Yes, live the love. D
Do my best to live it.
You were smart to go back! Clearly, he had something to give and there’s nothing better than finding a grateful recipient for your creative work. We know that from personal experience, don’t we? Thanks for sharing your inspiring story. Live the love. P
Thanks for this sweet tale, Clifford! And the photo…now I see what it is. When I first saw it, before reading, I thought it was something to eat, like a molded mushroom pate. Ha Ha. And I think we are all “mothers” if we care for the earth and each other…hopefully. xoxoxo Bayla
I know, right? I’m still not sure what to do with it.
Ahhhh. Just lovely. Thank you, Cliffie.
I truly believe that it will take each of us – reaching out, spreading kindness and extending love … to bring our world back together. It’s the small acts of mercy and thoughtfulness that returns us to the core of the “human heart”. We are all so much more alike that different. And it’s the differences that help to make the marvelous diversity in the corsage of flowers selected for our vase of relationships. Maybe all of us need to make gifts for passing strangers. It can only brighten our own lives as well as those within our world. Then we’ll be Reminded “What a beautiful world” it REALLY is! – Love to all, James
Always love your words. I love the corsage of flowers. Thanks for checking in. We are truly kindred spirits.