The little girl bikes down the beach ramp at full speed. I am limping towards her with my cane, from the opposite end of the ramp. She skids to a stop, and walks her bike past me with a smile. Then, once I am safe from her speed, she jumps back on and zooms. Kindness.
Kindness in the lack of hesitation, the want to a share a space of safety, the joy uninterrupted.
My roommate comes home from a long day of work to see piles of things all over the floor. The blankets, where I hid for awhile. The stack of medical papers I still have to get through. The discarded clothes that didn’t work for one reason or another. He puts his arms out for a hug.
Kindness in the allowance, in the understanding, in the sacrifice that goes by without comment.
I think a lot about the silence of kindness– how we struggle to say the right words during times of hardship, and how maybe that is a biological function, a built-in saving grace. Something to force us into a quiet space for healing.
Kindness is the only sound we need sometimes, and it needs all the room we can give it. It needs the room to branch out, it needs to branch out so it can flower. It needs to drop the flowers everywhere, so the air is scented with it, so the streets are paved with it, so our laws can be written in the ink of its pistils.
The little girl skids to a stop, and walks her bike past me with a smile.
I don’t apologize for the disruption she doesn’t seem to mind. I don’t tell myself that I do not have a right to be in this space. I just thank her and wish her happy.
Kindness to myself.
My roommate puts his arms out for a hug.
I accept it. I don’t tell myself that I am a burden. I don’t apologize for trying so hard and accomplishing so little. I just accept that he values my journey more than a clean floor.
I say thank you.
Kindness in friendship. Kindness in acceptance. Kindness in the acceptance of kindness.
Kindness is its own ancestor, and gratitude lays itself down like marigolds to its altar. Two long sugar cane stalks bend to rainbow it. And a glass of water is filled, and a plate of food is set, and flowers fall everywhere– and no one knows if they are ancestors themselves, or simply seeds, but we water them and feed them in food and prayer.
We pray in kindness. The silence rolling off of us like a native language. We understand it, we overhear it, we fold it into quietest communications.
You are surrounded by it. It branches everywhere. It reaches you.
Today, and every day — Receive it. Let it wrap around you like a warm hug from a friend. Let it zoom by you like a bike pedaled freely on an open beach in the sunshine.
Let it silence to you. Silence back. It will understand your spaces and pauses, deep breaths, and blinks.
It is your mother tongue.