I write this with the sound of rain in the background. It’s been a constant background for many days now. It’s beyond soothing and calm. It keeps pouring. It’s insane. It sounds like static. It just keeps on and on. There are massive floods everywhere. My photo-heart connection for July is this. This because I look at the woman in the photo and wonder about my life. I wonder about my spirit and my soul. I wonder what is it that I really know deep inside; what is it I carry in my heart and feel that I want to give to the world? What is it I need to know or learn or remember? I think it is kindness.
I came across a poem some months back and I felt it was exactly what we all need to know about kindness. See it, live it, share it; and not just share it, give it with your whole heart. Your whole and broken heart. The one that had to break – that has to break many times – to know what kindness is.
Before you know what kindness really is
you must lose things,
feel the future dissolve in a moment
like salt in a weakened broth.
What you held in your hand,
what you counted and carefully saved,
all this must go so you know
how desolate the landscape can be
between the regions of kindness.
How you ride and ride
thinking the bus will never stop,
the passengers eating maize and chicken
will stare out the window forever.
Before you learn the tender gravity of kindness,
you must travel where the Indian in a white poncho
lies dead by the side of the road.
You must see how this could be you,
how he too was someone
who journeyed through the night with plans
and the simple breath that kept him alive.
Before you know kindness as the deepest thing inside,
you must know sorrow as the other deepest thing.
You must wake up with sorrow.
You must speak to it till your voice
catches the thread of all sorrows
and you see the size of the cloth.
Then it is only kindness that makes sense anymore,
only kindness that ties your shoes
and sends you out into the day to mail letters and
only kindness that raises its head
from the crowd of the world to say
it is I you have been looking for,
and then goes with you every where
like a shadow or a friend.
~ Naomi Shihab Nye
The thread of kindness is intertwined in us all and is woven by the hands of Love. This is how I came across the poem. Let us all remember the kindness of all beings; celebrate it, give it back, and keep weaving with its threads a big blanket of warmth and tenderness.