He stood on the corner looking a lot like Santa Claus, a smile on his face and a cup outstretched in his hands. I smiled back and asked if he was hungry and would he like to go somewhere and share a sandwich.
He responded with a bigger smile and a resounding YES.
His name is Aed. Together we went to a corner bakery and then over the next hour he very slowly ate his sandwich, pausing with deep delight on each bite as he shared his life story with me. He was one of the few hand pruners still trying to work. He spoke lovingly and with deep passion about all sorts of plants and trees and how to properly care for them. Much like humans, each one requiring kindness and attention.
He spoke of his time serving in Vietnam and how that forever affected him. He spoke about a pathway diverged but then regained. He spoke about his philosophy on life; that we all have gifts to offer and we all have the choice to be happy even without a place to call home. His blue eyes shone brighter and brighter.
I asked if I could hug him. Another resounding YES. And then we hugged a second and third time, each one a bit longer and a bit more joyful.
Aed gave me a gift that day. The gift of his story. We stay in touch now and again via email; he is a brilliant man. So, the next time you see someone on a corner with an outstretched hand, reach out and gently take it. You may receive the bigger gift.
See more at: KindSpring
Be kind to each other. Share your gifts, provide a space for others to share theirs.
Hugs from my heart to yours.