what a tabby cat knows


it comes over 
not quite like a squall line
but one of those looming
heaps of clouds
that slowly moves in
and the whole day gets dark

maybe it’s just a careless word
that hurt
or maybe it’s that inner voice
stuck in fruitless repetition
asking why or how

when those days happen
he somehow knows
he never fails to come near
he doesn’t say a word

if you speak
he listens
if you cry
he touches you gently on the cheek
he stays, steadfast, at your side
watching with caring eyes
the close warmth of him
speaking where there are no words

such deliberate compassion
spanning an abyss
between a human
and a feline
who somehow seems to know 
how to witness the hurts of life in others
and nurse them with a tenderness
sometimes forgotten by members of our own species
the deepest empathy and absence of judgment
innate if only we allow

as the skies clear
a butterfly 
suddenly captures his attention
and delivers a smile to your lips

just a few kind words

veru12_28_18Just a few kind words.

It could make all the difference to someone.

A simple thank you might mean more than you know.

A gentle query about how one’s day is going, or how their holidays have been, might, just might, make someone feel seen.

Your considerate comment might just be the moment that restores confidence, brings hope, or sparks an instant of joy.

Notice the small gestures people make, notice the big ones, too. When someone’s trying, honor that – in the simplest of ways.

It’s just a few kind words. Just two will do.

And with a smile that meets the eyes, you’ve gone over the top.

There are those on your path who feel invisible. There are those for whom a hug is an unusual experience. There are ones who won’t hear a friendly word that day unless you deliver it.

And it’s just a few kind words. Opportunities abound. It costs absolutely nothing, but it’s so worth the effort.

You may never know the impact, but it could make all the difference.

Just a little bit of kindness can go a long, long way.

kindnesses

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World Kindness Day is coming up on Tuesday, November 13. While this is a day bringing focus to various initiatives around the world, it can also be a day to give focus in one’s personal life.

Hopefully, we all try to bring kindness into the world each day. There are so many little and painless ways to do that. And generally, whatever small kindness we bring delivers back to us. I know that those times when I have found a way to be helpful to someone, whether a stranger or a loved one, it makes me happy.

During a rambling conversation with a new acquaintance on this topic, it was interesting to see how readily certain moments of kindness stood out in memory – some going back years.

I could see how meaningful it had been for my acquaintance to help a woman stranded in the cold with her three children a few years ago. They were locked out of their car, late at night, far from home, and with little money. He got them warmed up in his own vehicle while he gained access for them to their own car. He smiled but shivered when he remembered how long it took him to warm himself up after finally returning home. It was, however, a night that remained happily in his memory with all the details.

These kinds of memories also included those times we were on the receiving end of another’s goodness.

Like the time some years ago when I was stuck on a roadside in the middle of nowhere. I had pulled off the side of a lonely country road to get a picture. When I hopped back in my car, I discovered that one of my tires had conveniently found a niche in the turf that held my vehicle trapped. I pushed and pushed and worked the problem to no avail.

Just as I was getting ready to start walking, a pickup truck came along, and then another one. The two knew each other. They got out, and with many smiles and much friendly laughter, pushed and pulled my car out of its predicament.

What a beautiful memory that is for me. It was a wonderful kindness in the moment, but it is a gift that keeps on giving. It brings a smile to my face even now.

Of course, many kindnesses are much simpler: a thoughtful word or a smile, or a simple gesture. There are so many opportunities every day for these small but essential expressions of our care for each other. And the impact of such kindnesses may be bigger than we know.

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It’s also fun to be intentional about it, figuring out ways to bring a moment of kindness very deliberately, perhaps randomly, into the world. 

I remember when I discovered my first painted rock on a trail in Florida (the lady bug in the photo). I had no idea why it was there, but it presented a happy little surprise that changed my day.

Maybe it’s knitting hats for those in need of warmth, or donating to a food pantry, or using some elbow grease on a local project. Who knows?

It’s something I am thinking about today: noticing the spontaneous opportunities for kindness that present themselves, and the ways I use my personal gifts in deliberate fashion to brighten someone else’s day. 

Be kind! You know it’s a beautiful thing. 🙂