Just a thought… Whenever there is a human being, there is an opportunity for kindness. [Seneca]
First off, a very happy July to you, and thank you! You may have been one of the 800+ who answered a question I posed on my Facebook page as to whether it would be okay with you if I went back to posting only a written journal, which is the format I started posting blogs in 20 years ago and to which I only added video three years back during our days of isolation and fear thanks to Covid.
The answer, overwhelmingly, was written (or do what’s best for me) and I’m relieved. My life has been so full, so joyously full, over the past year or so with three podcasts and two grandkids and a dog – all on the go – plus a patient husband on the sidelines, that something had to bend just a bit. SO, thank you again. Of course, I’ll post videos on occasion and let you know when and where to click, but for now, let’s just spend some quiet time together. And if you don’t mind, I won’t do my hair or makeup. Onward we go, and here’s to connection in all its forms.
There’s nothing as connecting as a long talk, spent leisurely catching up with friends or family. We all need to do it more. But sometimes starting a chat with a total stranger can give your heart a spark that you might otherwise have missed! I have two such conversations to tell you about today.
First, one in the dark on Saturday night. It was Canada Day and well after 10 pm when Rob and I took Dottie for one last walk of the night (which, thankfully, ensures a late sleep-in for us all the next day). As we walked down our street on the left side, I was startled to look up and see that, inside the parked, dark car that we were about to walk around, were two people. The driver’s side window was down and to cover my surprise I blurted (as is my way), “Hey, you two, this isn’t lovers’ lane! Move along.”
Of course, I was kidding. As I came up to the driver’s door, I saw a man about Rob’s age, with a bag of popcorn in his hand, and next to him, a lady who was also smiling. He said, “Oh, we’re just waiting for the fireworks”.
I said, “Well, unless you’re creating your own, you’ve missed them; they were last night.”
You see, our nearby town of Sidney, which our street overlooks, holds its fireworks on June 30th. I suppose it’s so as not to compete with nearby Victoria’s display. In fact, we had just gathered our family in our darkened dining room with chairs, some Stravinsky playing on my iPhone and, yes, bowls of popcorn, to watch the show the previous night.
I imagine there was some embarrassment mixed with their disappointment, but in true Canadian style, we apologized to them that they’d missed them (as if we’re the town criers, for heaven’s sake)!
Our other chance encounter happened Friday in a park near Colin and Jane’s house. (Yes, their parents also live there, but let’s be honest – the kids run the place). Rob and I had walked there with the littles to play and then get a treat and enjoy a perfect summer day together. As they tackled the slides and climbing apparatus, an elderly woman with a cane, dressed smartly with a sun hat and holding a tote bag, asked if she could sit with us on the bench.
As the kids’ pup Sammy said her hellos, we started up a conversation. The woman had been on a long bus trip from downtown Victoria and wanted to catch her breath before continuing her walk home. We talked about the neighbourhood, her penchant for gardening and the hot, dry conditions of the past several weeks. She said she had to go home to water her tomatoes and that she hadn’t planted any the year before.
The reason? Well, I’m glad we were sitting down. In January of 2022 she was given a cancer diagnosis and told she had two months to live. 18 months later, here she was, chatting with us, 88 years old and just having navigated BC Transit to get to and from a medical appointment.
We finished our chat and I was just so grateful she had chosen that bench, that moment, to spend with us. You see, earlier in the day, I’d been part of an online summit talking about grief. I shared our message of hope and finding joy after immense loss. And then we had the chance to talk with her: someone whose life had had a finish line drawn out for her, who managed, not just to erase it, but to continue on through this marathon. The Stoics remind us that we are all facing that finish line – it’s just knowing and acknowledging that fact and living each day the way we’d want to be remembered: with kindness, selflessness and so much gratitude.
It is the latter which fills my heart today.
A reminder to you here that a brand new Drift with Erin Davis sleep story comes your way tonight: a fresh telling of Cinderella that I know you’ll enjoy. It’s free to you thanks to Kathy & Kim at Envypillow.com. And speaking of pals, Lisa and I will be dropping a brand new episode 27 of our Gracefully & Frankly podcast this Thursday. Thanks to Leah who wrote that she’s just getting into it, and catching up with all 26 to date! Oh, and in case you think you can’t figure out how to listen to podcasts, our soon-to-be 98-year-old friend Mira is now listening to Drift on her computer during the day. So there you go!
Talk again soon and thank you again for having your say and mostly for understanding.