Beginner's Heart

the author's

the author’s

Today’s gratitude is slightly abashed. I’m grateful for kindness — even my own, actually. And abashed that it’s noticed so…noticeably…? Because if just joking w/ the Starbuck’s barista, and teasing her about breathing, nets me a heartfelt hand-hold and a free espresso shot, there’s something wrong w/ the world.

Which I guess I knew.

So here’s the deal: her happy response to my normal goofiness made me feel wonderful. To be able to make a stranger smile… How fun is that? When all I did was make fun of the long line, offer to make horrible faces for at the barista so the others would think I was a witch, to give her time to catch her breath. It was a loooonng  line, and probably not the first of the morning. Just take a moment in the looooong line to collect herself.

She began to laugh a big laugh, then reached for my hand and asked what I wanted. She wrote something on the red holiday cup, said it would do for my name, and said the shot’s free; you made me laugh AND smile!

When did the kindness of strangers become what gets us through our long days? When did we stop looking at — really seeing — each other? How often do we lose sight of our own humanity in busy everyday?

This is my gratitude today: that I was there for someone, stranger or not, to shoulder part of the day. That I’m prone to being (irredeemably!) goofy, even with strangers. And that one person (and her deep goofiness) can make a difference, however small.

You can, too. Try it.