Sunday, November 29, 2009

some things about some things

I clearly remember that day on the bus when I left my hometown, everything I owned in a backpack I had stolen from a friends house.


Today was so beautiful; I wanted to lay in the grass in my front yard, rolling around enjoying what is mine. It's been a long time and a longer road to get where I am and the things around me have been earned judiciously. Still, I can't help wondering why I believe the grass is mine, it's greeness or the beauty of the sky.

Every year I tell Scott that I don't want anything for the holiday season. I desperately want to have less...less stress, less bills, less things to wash, wear and worry about. But I always seem to end up with confusing pieces of parts and products that I never knew existed or needed until I didn't know how to use them.

Even after Katrina when everything I owned was washed away, it didn't take me long to fill up the spaces around me with things that were somehow necessary to living a life, but had failed to end mine when they had disappeared so completely.

That was not the first time I had been stripped of all my possessions, or when I relied on the kind acts of strangers far away to pull myself back together. I hitchhiked the state of Florida one summer a few decades back after divesting myself of all material concerns, and when I ended up in a homeless shelter in Jacksonville, donating plasma to get a few dollars to eat, it was one such friend who lent me the money to find my way home again. He never asked for repayment, only that I return the favor to someone who was in need in the future.

This week I found myself locked in a conversation with a man who was quite boastful of all the work he was doing, helping strangers, paying it forward. Is the act that gets announced or applauded any more valid than the invisible kindness of the world?

I did not lie in the yard today, but I did admire the grass. I felt it with my empty hands before remembering that they are always full, ready to hand out a good deed.

The only thing we own, are the actions of our lives.

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