I watched quietly over the months she lived next door to our little shop, observing her comings and goings. Single mothers have a lot to contend with and she seemed to do her best to give her little son a happy, safe home. She kept to herself, so I never heard her story. As each of the holidays approached she did her best to decorate and celebrate with her child. She had Halloween decorations which ended up blowing into the bushes. For a while, there was a king sized mattress and box springs with a "free" sign on it parked outside the door. I worried that all the rain coming down would make it unsuitable for anyone to sleep on. I found myself entertaining little "ninja thoughts," ok, they were judgements, about how trashy things were looking around her door. She bravely tried to decorate for Christmas putting little snow flake decorations in the tree in front and somehow the tree didn't look as sad and lonely as the little house appeared. One day, about two weeks ago she very quickly moved out, leaving unwanted "free" things in little stacks under the tree. As one wind storm after another blew in, these little stacks of cups and saucers, a coffee maker and other "left-behinds" began to become broken, unsightly and trashed. Each day I became more and more focused on the trash, and less and less compassionate towards the one who had left in such a hurry. Finally, this morning as I sat in my parked car beside the curb and very near the mess, I found myself praying a silent prayer for the whole, sad scene, both outside and within. In the quiet of that moment, Grace descended upon me and I heard the words loud and clear form in my heart-space: "Kathryn, what would Love do?" Instantly I knew what needed to be done. I donned a pair of work gloves I had in my car and got a black plastic bag and cleaned up the whole area. With each shattered piece of glass, tea cup shard and half buried Halloween decoration, I drew a heart around this lonely little place and around the dear soul who had last lived there. I knew the best and only right thing I could do was help a sister in need do what needed to be done, that she herself was, for whatever reason, unable to do. I found waves of love go out from me and surround this place. A little beauty wanted to blossom where Love had created a space.
I am in gratitude for all the ways I have been supported through the hard things I have had to do in my life. When the chips were down, I always had many helping hands to get me through it. I realized it made me obligated to give back, to "pay it forward" for someone else who may have needed just a little more support than she had. I just hope the next time there is an opportunity to reach out and be love in action, it doesn't take me so long to get a clue...sigh