Only when you have lost everything,
multiple times, starting over and over again,
can you really appreciate the warmth
of that hand held out, those twinkling eyes,
recognize a fellow being, heart full of compassion
and lived experience, who, one day,
had a hand held out to him, in turn,
and is passing kindness along.
This bus we’re on takes us on a grand adventure.
We don’t know where we’re going,
but we gasp at the view through the window.
We go up hills, motor sputtering so badly
we aren’t sure we’ll make it,
then coast down the other side, praying
the brakes don’t fail
and we’ll arrive alive at our destination.
Out the window we might spy
a car on fire, at an intersection.
We pass too quickly to ever know
if the people inside got out alive.
Sometimes there is a dead deer,
hit by a car and left by the side of the road.
One prays there isn’t an orphaned fawn nearby.
We all start out with dreams
and pay with heartbreak.
We gain and lose so much,
our hearts stay dizzy.
There is dark and light
in the hearts of humankind,
so we turn to dogs and cats and horses
with their devoted, peaceful,
together with our fur companions
we heal the pain of being
creatures on this earth.
When I think of kindness,
I look to Mother Nature, who,
despite the climate crisis,
forest fires, floods and pandemic
- in spite of all we have taken
and taken and taken without giving back -
still rolls out one more
splendid springtime for our delight,
with its nesting birds, budding blossoms,
tall brave daffodils, small spotted fawns,
moving through the cycle of growth
as hopeful as She ever was,
moving always towards the restoration
of all that has been lost -
a kindness which should
inspire our hearts to walk
more humbly, sensitive always
to the weight of our footprint
on her wild and beating