Over the years, I have occasionally wondered what would happen if I sat down to write an In Between Sundays and found that I had nothing to write about. This week, as I sat down to write, I felt as if I had nothing to write about. In that exact moment, every idea that occurred to me felt too overwhelming or too trite. It was one of those moments where I realized that I am, in some ways, still recovering from and digesting the multiple traumas of the past year.
With only a few random sentences written, I decided to take a break and sit on my patio for a few minutes. It is extremely quiet there and, on most days, you can be almost completely assured of solitude. Over the years though, there has been one semi-consistent exception; a neighbor who, from time to time, walks her dog past our patio. I met her several years ago as I was sitting outside and she stopped to tell me how much she loved seeing my cat, King Lear, lounging on the windowsills. We spoke for a few moments, I bent down to pet her dog, we exchanged casual, polite, pleasantries and wished each other a good day. Over the years, we have repeated this interaction several times and over time, we have gotten to know each other a bit, one short conversation at a time, one small detail at a time. It has been a slow unveiling and it is an interaction that even an introvert like me has come to look forward to.
So, as I sat on my patio a few days ago with nothing to write about and looking for solitude, my neighbor and her dog appeared. I instinctively got up to greet them. We fell into our familiar conversation but this time, as she was preparing to walk away, she stopped and very sincerely expressed to me how much she enjoyed our conversations. She thanked me for being kind. She told me that the world seemed overwhelming to her these days and that our brief shared moments held meaning for her in the midst of that. I thanked her in return for her presence in my life. For her years of consistent, patient, kind friendship. And then we parted ways with the promise of, “See you soon!”
It was a small moment that may not have happened if I had not ventured outside because I had nothing to write about. It was a small moment that filled me. It was restorative. It was a moment borne of nothing and it was everything.
Well Ms Kelli – After having spent forty years of my life inside NSA which is the largest haven of introverts just about anywhere in the world , I must say you could have fooled me about your view of yourself as an introvert . The beauty of an introvert is when one speaks their thoughts they go deep ,because each of us speaks only when we have a clear message to convey . And those messages tend to be terse and deeply thoughtful .
You are a winner when addressing UUCC. In faith John Guy
Norman D Hazzard
Kelli, thank you for sharing this story of how simply responding to this lady with her dog turned out to be just what she needed, more than you could know at first. It reminds me of a time several years ago when I was mowing at OBIC. People are frequently walking past there, and occasionally we share a greeting. One day an older man, whose appearance suggested that he might have been down on his luck, stopped to say hello, and then he asked me for some money so he could get something to eat. Something told me to respond, but not by just giving him money. Rather, I offered to take him to the McDonald’s across the street to buy him food. He agreed, and we approached the young man behind the register. I said, “Go ahead and order.” The clerk, noting the shabby appearance of the man, asked, “Who is paying?” I told him I was. We took our food to a table and I stayed with him while he ate. When he got up to leave, he thanked me, and then he really surprised me by giving me a big hug and saying, “God bless you.” I was so stunned that I had the feeling I had been touched by an angel.
Just a smile away.
Your simple caring,
Is what made my day!