the sunshine in which virtue grows

After my medical procedure on Friday I didn’t want to be by myself. Once home I was inclined to rest (as I was under the influence of a small cartload of drugs), eat (as I’d had to fast since the evening previous), and listen to and talk to my family while they went about their business. And I received these gifts. I was in a bit of a haze when Ralph brought me home, although I knew my mom and children followed behind in her van. When the latter carload stepped through the door they brought a large vase of flowers, roses in many colors. They’d gone to the florist’s between the hospital and my home. While in the flower shop they ran into a family friend and got to talking about me. After listening to what were likely ebullient shows of love by the quartet in attendance, the florist wouldn’t take more than $30 for the generously-styled bouquet, her own gift for the occasion.

Ralph has been caring for me steadily. Cooking and making coffee and bringing me water. He’s bought me sopes and tea and Ibex wool gloves and every kind of juice he thought I’d like. He’s brought me blankets and kitties to cuddle and he’s done dishes and lit candles throughout the house (he knows I like candles). Very valuable to me, he’s helped me in my daily commitment to have a walk, something that has meant a great deal to me.

My friends and family have called, texted, IM’d, DM’d, and emailed, but with a great deal of consideration for my rest and recovery (that, physically, was quite swift, likely as the procedure was minor and the surgeon knew what he was doing). Friends have looked after (and fed) my children and tonight someone brought me an orchid as a gift. You know? I’ve wanted an orchid a long time. I once bought one for a friend, a beautiful and expensive specimen, and only a few minutes after I delivered this to the home of this friend, our other friend had cocktails and got nervous and knocked the beautiful thing over with a swoop of her ass. I remember thinking it was very funny, although my friend with the errant posterior probably was embarrassed. I knew even those years ago I’d like an orchid but I never gave myself permission to buy one. Tonight the blooms occupy the highest position in my home, a reminder, a flag of friendship.

I’ve been saying (and writing) “Thank you” a lot for a couple weeks now.

I write these events out as I want them recorded somewhere besides in my heart. I think in some way people’s kindness amazes me and it finally breaks down some barrier, some resistance I’ve long held very deeply. I am not invisible, and I am not unique, and I do not need to suffer alone.

There was a time in my life where I felt I’d been unfairly done by. I remember stewing over a great deal of unfairness, dealt to me and others, angry over embarrassments and humiliations, large and small. I remember worrying a lot about what I’d do for paid employment or how my kids would turn out or what people thought of me or if something bad would happen. I’ve felt angry at those who had more material wealth, I’ve felt superior to those who (seemed as if they) had more troubles than I. I’ve felt eager for the good opinion of some while ignoring others entirely if they did not seem in some way useful or special.

But over time many of these judgments and perceptions have fallen away, and I’ve been left feeling more curious and grateful, and a bit more tired for some reason. And now I simply must accept the goodness and kindness so many have to offer, either that or pretend it isn’t what it is.

Today the wonderful nature of people evidences itself in so many ways. I have been loved and cared for far more than I “deserve”. This is not to say I believe I am a wretched person, only I believe I cannot in anyway repay, or even pay forward, the great deal of care and consideration that has been afforded me. I must only admit the world is a wonderful place full of lovely people, and I’d like to be a part of. In time I shall likely feel better again, after recent seeming setbacks, but I do not need anything other than I have to exhibit kindness as has been shown me. It’s a wonderful meditation, and a wonderful practice to cultivate.

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