The Substance of the Journey
Its July, and we have crossed the half mark for this year 2016. So much has taken place in my life and the world.
I have been thinking a lot about life and what makes my own life beautiful in spite of the many challenges which have come my way. Gratitude is a feeling which overwhelms me. There are many things which can go wrong on any given day, but then again, there are many right things which unexpectedly bring light.
This year, my New Year’s resolution seems to be close by, at all hurdles – live. To live means that we will experience feelings and emotions. We will give and receive, and karma will follow us.
Love thy neighbor
I was on a flight to New York, my first international flight in almost 2 years. The accident made it almost impossible to travel previously. The injuries are healing but nerve damage has made me sensitive to temperature. I have an electric heated blanket and a ‘Tens’ massage sensor which I carry with me at all times.
The airline ( JetBlue) was great, and a wheelchair was made available for me to get to and from the plane. Everything was planned, and checked over many times before I left home. The stewardess helped to get my bag overhead as I could not extend my right arm to do it. She was kind, advising everything would be great while helping to settle me in. As we got airborne, it became extremely cold. I was well covered but my bones began to take in the cold, and the tremors started.
The lady seated next to me ( I was in an aisle seat) in the middle looked at me and asked if I was okay. I smiled bravely and said yes, but she could see the pain shown in my face. She started to speak, sharing information about herself and her husband and daughters travelling with them. She offered some of her goodies and snacks which I respectfully declined, all the while looking at me. We had been in-flight for two hours when the pain from the coldness became unbearable. The stewardess advised it was not possible to lower the temperature, and I wondered if I could keep quiet and not disturb the flight. I requested to have my blanket (the size of a hand towel) from overhead and laid it on my shoulder. My new neighbor leaned over and asked if I would allow her to wrap me in her scarf. She looked very concerned, and advised it was clean and had not been used and felt it was long enough to wrap my head, shoulders and half my body, for my body to heat itself. Now, I have to say I was surprised, by her concern and kindness. With what appeared to be some nursing experience she covered me and wrapped me like a cocoon. Then the stewardess brought me a cup of hot water I requested and as I drank, my body began cooling itself. Amazing. I was warming up. The next 3 hours went quickly, as my airborne Samaritan kept the conversation flowing. She asked me to keep the scarf as a gift, and we exchanged phone numbers. I was whisked off the plane and went through immigration quickly by a kind attendant, and then met by my sister and her husband.
Through our discussions, I gathered she is a Hindu, and I am a Christian. She is of East Indian origin and I am a mixed race origin. She is a mother, businesswoman as am I. We have different political parties we support in Trinidad, and there is approximately 15 years difference between our ages. The color of my skin is lighter than hers. Our differences do not matter. They did not matter to us. Neither of us thought of our differences, which I highlight for illustration purposes only. The woman, mother, neighbor, stranger, embraced me as a friend and human being. We spoke about business, current local events, world events, politics, health care and family life. She made a difficult journey easier than I could ever imagine, and gifted me with a beautiful scarf ( pictured above)and even more valuable memories.
There is a very old song/ hymn I recall which goes like this…” if I can help somebody as I carry on; then my living shall not be in vein…” I am richer having taken that journey and meeting this beautiful lady – Stara is her name.
Being the giver, I have had to learn to leave pride alone, and accept the kindness which just seems to come my way. Even the strongest soldier can have moments of weakness, when he must learn to be still, and let others be his strength.
July, comes after June. As I look back, I can see my journey not in time or miles, but in substance. I challenge you to look back. Take a glance at the last six months and see the substance of your journey. With gratitude, there is much to be thankful for.
Let’s paint today fuchsia pink by reaching out to that unknown stranger.
Thank you for reading, commenting, sharing, and painting fuchsia pink!