“One for you, one for me” is a phrase I learned in my childhood when dividing up treats, but seldom uttered in my adulthood. At least, until the Pandemic, when I turned it into a game.
During lockdown, I was truly having a difficult time isolating myself from my earth family. Sure, I learned Zoom like most everyone else, but gathering with others in little squares on a screen is not the same for me as interacting in person. There is something much more satisfying activating all of my senses in conversation instead of just seeing and hearing. Spreading joy by speaking kind words in a Zoom room is certainly possible. Yet I longed to kindly reach out and share through closer means, and that’s challenging when you live by yourself, so I put my creativity cap on.
Even though the six foot social distancing rule was in full swing everywhere, I was itching for physical contact, even at the risk of contracting Covid. I told my daughter I was going to stand in the middle of the grocery store and yell out, “Does anyone want to risk a hug?” Knowing my history with institutionalization, she begged me not to, even when I promised to keep my mask on. So I relented.
Appropriately and quite abruptly, when I did take that next grocery shopping trip, I had a better epiphany. Upon entering the store, I noticed bouquets of flowers wrapped in celophane. I grabbed two of them, one for me and one to offer the cashier when I checked out. After all, I had to interact with her anyway. As I placed my items on the belt, I was getting excited, putting the bouquets on last. After she rang them up, I took one and offered it to her saying, “Here, this one’s for you.” She looked at me with a mixture of disbelief and delight. Her response amused me. After thanking me, she said, “I can’t wait to tell my boss about this!” I left feeling like a million bucks, and it cost me less than ten.
When I arrived home, I arranged my own bouquet in a vase and placed it on my kitchen table, reliving the memory of the cashier’s smiling face. Even in these post-Covid times, I often repeat this ritual. I now know where the flower displays are at my favorite grocery stops. Just last week I spent a dollar each on two carnations, and handed one to the cashier. She said, “Oh my, you put such a smile on my face, thank you!” There are so many ways to spread kindness in our world, with barely any added expense or time. And it keeps us connected, a priceless thing indeed. Next time I'll spend a worthwhile three bucks for One for Me, Two for You, and have whomever pass it on.
FROM THE SANCTUARY;
It is what I refer to as the whiny (as opposed to rainy) season here in western New York. There are many days where the sun is covered by gray clouds for days at a time, and many get grumpy as a result. Often accompanying the crankiness are the complaints about the foreboding winter to come. It's even worse if it rains, and almost unbearable if the Bills are off to a losing start. I have learned to appreciate the autumn and the way Mama Nature prepares herself for winter, first by blanketing the sky with clouds, and then by covering the ground with snow. It’s her way of telling us humans that live in the northeast that it is time to rest. Few do.
It’s fun to observe how the squirrels scurry about in a rush all over the yard. And the deer are visiting more frequently. Today was a busy nature day. I noticed two blue herons in a nearby pond, a very noisy hawk flying overhead for some time and a garter snake who surprised me by getting entangled in my garage door when I opened it. None of them seemed to mind that it was cool and overcast all day. They just went happily about their business. As did I, and that’s probably why roses in a store garden caught my attention. Not caring about the gloom, they just kept showing off their bright red blossoms, brightening the day for anyone who put their grumbling aside.
One for Me, two for you, of blessings. Pass it on.