I came to Starbucks to write a post about a few sweet gifts I’ve gotten from a few sweet people. As I stood in line I was debating how to write about my good fortune, given the horror in Paris, without sounding oblivious and tone-deaf. Maybe I shouldn’t write about it at all, I thought.
Waiting for my turn, I noticed the skin on the young woman in front of me. Flawless, luminous, and so was her smile when she turned around, for no reason, to look at me. After she got her coffee she smiled at me again and I decided she was confusing me with someone else.
Then the barista told me that my tea was covered “by your new friend over there.”
I was confused at first. I thought maybe she felt sorry for me, that maybe, given how smartly dressed she was and how slovenly I was, she thought I needed help. “Why are you doing this?” I asked her, laughing.
She just smiled and left.
Then I thought, Paris. She’s doing this for Paris, her small kindness a stand of solidarity with those across the ocean who are suffering so much.
I sat down with my tea and let the tears fall. This is the face of goodness, I thought. I am sitting in the presence of goodness.
You may think I was making a mountain out of a $2.39 cup of tea, but I saw, in that simple gesture, a mountain of goodness. I was overcome with emotion because she made manifest something I believe to my very core–that whatever evil there is in the world, there will always be more goodness.
So thank you, anonymous, beautiful young woman at Starbucks. Your little gesture breaks my heart and fills it up at the same time.
On with other points of gratitude.
From my daughter Lizzie, a spoon rest, something I’ve always wanted. What makes this such a great gift is that I never realized how much I wanted a Poem Elf spoon rest.
Two new elves for my elf collection (I’m sure there are other people in the world who collect elves), from a dear friend:
The one on the right is my Linda Blair elf.
Here’s the full collection, all of them gifts:
Finally, another dear and very observant friend gave me a new Poem Elf file folder and journal–
–because she’s seen the ratty old folders I use to organize my poem collection.
Thanks to all these sweet folks!
And now, thanks to Young Woman with Beautiful Skin, I realize all these gifts are a commission. Time to get to work.