While doing some clean up in the kitchen late yesterday afternoon, I thought I heard some voices coming from the back garden. As I looked up to glance out through the window I saw some movement. It was my brother from across the street walking through with some of our friends. I stopped what I was doing to go out and join them. It's not a rare occurrence to have visitors wandering though the garden...and I so enjoy it every time it happens.
These friends yesterday have been through a rough couple years. They lost their home during this economic downturn as many others have. As the wife of the couple walked through she kept seeing Japanese Maples that she wanted. They are at present renting a small home from a friend who has set the rental price at a reasonable level that they can afford with the agreement that while they are there they will put some work into fixing it up. She loves gardening, so the fix-up-focus this spring has moved outside. She wanted to take a maple with her.
Towards the end of the tour I reached into some of the maples and grabbed one and handed it to her and told her she could have it. A giddy smile filled her face and was then followed by some tears. She was elated and full of gratitude. Her husband seemed more shocked. We men often seem a little slower when it comes to these things. Maybe it's because when it comes to money, we have been more deeply malformed by the stewardship/responsibility script that has been handed down to us that more resembles greed?
That encounter was the third special encounter of the day. My morning, after beginning as they always do on Monday, at the salon cleaning, had already began on a high note. I had been invited to join a friend for coffee. We hadn't seen each other for several months. She had asked me to meet with her to discuss living with teenagers (their family is just entering this land) in a grace-filled way instead of the tension packed approach defined by power and authority in hopes of getting teenagers to submit to a parent's attempts to control their behavior. It took us awhile to get to that conversation since the first hour was used up by just catching up with one another. Part of that had to do with this family also having lost their home this past year. There's a lot of pain out there if you haven't yet noticed. It seemed the conversation about living with our kids was helpful and encouraging. It was good for me also to get to spend some time with her.
Then shortly afternoon a client/friend of mine posted on Facebook that she was helping with an auction to raise money in order to assist people suffering with cancer. She was wondering if anyone knew where she might go to get a plant or tree or shrub to offer in the upcoming auction. I responded to her and told her to stop by because I had a Japanese Maple I would give her. She was just in the salon a couple weeks ago and had mentioned that she would love a tour of the garden sometime. It looks like that will happen very soon.
I have this dream that includes people and my garden and even part of my work as a hairstylist. A dream that was stirred and awakened inside me many many years ago. A dream I then lost during the years of getting caught up in the soul-diminishing-frustrating-adventure of expanding my standard of living as my income level began to go up. I often can find myself thinking that dream has not yet become a reality and then I am reminded by days like today to not despise small/humble beginnings.
Spreading around the real wealth we have been given, love and grace, is what we have been invited into, along with being generous with all we have. And don't ever think something that might look small is less significant. It more than likely will feel much bigger to the one on the receiving end.