I am always deeply moved by the kindness of strangers. I don’t mean acts of courtesy like when someone allows you to go ahead of them through a door, or at an intersection on the road, or ahead of them in line at the store, but unexpected acts of genuine kindness that make a deep impression in the heart, and leave it open. This was one such occasion.
Friday I drove over to a local craft store to look for an item to use in a painting that I had had an image of in a meditation last week. When I drove into the parking lot a large, bright yellow and black Monarch butterfly flew over the left top edge of the windshield and down in front of me – flying just ahead of me. It felt like I had been gently and unexpectedly graced from another realm. It certainly got my attention… It flew on and I turned into a parking slot – wondering if there was any significance to it… Usually when something like this shows up right in front of my face, it means I need to pay attention to something. Butterflies represent a process of metamorphosis, morphing into their True State, breaking through a self-imposed cocoon, opening their “wings” more fully and taking flight. I didn’t know that the cocoon of my Heart was about to be opened!
I also unexpectedly found what I was looking for in the store and quickly headed for the check out counter. I was the only one at the counter, besides the cashier, or so I thought. The item was not very expensive, but still I enquired if it might be on sale, as I had noticed 50% off tickets on some of the shelves around where I found the item. It wasn’t. So the woman rang the item up and gave me the total. I was about to pay when I was suddenly aware of a tall woman standing next to me. In a soft-spoken voice she said: “Wait a minute, I think I have a coupon here.” At first I was confused, and then realized she had dug out a rumpled up coupon worth 40% off any item and handed it to the cashier for my purchase! It meant a savings of over $7.00. I was gobsmacked! Had she been standing there all along and I hadn’t noticed her!? Had she heard me ask the clerk about a discount?! I had no clue where she came from! Really! Like the butterfuly that was suddenly in front of my windshield! I was overwhelmed and a bit in shock… I turned to her and met her large soft eyes, and humbly thanked her a couple of times, and then left with my package – and my heart opened; most likely never to see her again… Gone like the butterfly… Amazing… I found more than my “item” on this errand! J It seems I found my True Heart again - the soft , open Heart hidden within the cocoon…
When I got to the car I started crying – and cried nearly all the way home – as my heart softened and opened even more… Sounds sappy maybe, but I am always moved by these acts of connection and kindness with total strangers when least expected. And I thought how often I do not act out of kindness towards others in this way, but put my blinders on, feeling overwhelmed by crowds and noise, staying in my cocoon, just wanting to get the errand over with, consequently less *aware* of those around me. I wondered how many opportunities for kindness I have missed along the way… I now will be paying more attention, being more aware, and keeping my heart open – letting those rumpled-up heart wings unfold…
What touches your Heart deeply?
Photo: The shadow looks like
a butterfly wing to me J
a butterfly wing to me J