The beauty of kindness never ceases to steal my heart. While in Santa Fe for one of our last trips as a group, our Program Director, Layne, had a lovely idea. She asked three of us who had accompanied the kids if we wanted to go to Starbucks, purchase four large “Joe to Go” coffee jugs and head over to the Plaza. You see, the Plaza is where all of the Native Americans line up, roll out their blankets and sell their beautiful work. It was a cold and windy day and the gift of hot goodness in a cup just might hit the spot.
We brought all of the condiments with us and started asking each artist if they wanted some hot coffee. We were met with so many smiles and gratitude – their bright faces will be emblazoned on my heart for the rest of my days. Only one gentlemen asked what we wanted in return. When I smiled and said it was simply a gift, he decided on two cups………:)
As we headed back down the row to top off everyone’s cup, one of the artists called us over. She insisted that each of us choose a pair of earrings in exchange for our kindness. My pottery instructor, Clarence, who is a full native from the San Juan Pueblo, had told us a few weeks ago that to refuse a gift from a Native American who offers it is a great insult. I graciously accepted her gift, thanked her and moved on. As I stopped at a leather smiths blanket to purchase a belt for my husband, he also insisted we each choose a gift. Honestly, you could have knocked me over with a feather.
What started out as an act of kindness on our part turned into a receiving of a precious, priceless moment. Each one of us were transformed by this simple and yet profound event.
In all of these disturbing times, there are people simply choosing to be kind. This place, these people, have entered into my heart and taken up residence. Layne, Lori, Terry, Clarence, Ricki, Pam………..I bow in gratitude for your friendship and your wisdom. I am changed.