When I wrote “small kindness” as a title I thought, Hmmm, that’s not exactly it. Small is so…small.
Can something be small and massive at the same time? The acorn comes to mind.
And so does the package we, at Spirit Hill, got in the mail.
And in it was a small card of an apple. An apple is a small thing unless you are starving or prone to falling in love.
Really, all you have to do is look closely at an apple (at anything!) and there goes your heart, getting bigger and bigger to make space for all that feeling. How did this thing even happen? Sun and water and air and bees makes something I can eat out grow out of a tree?!
The world is so wild. It goes out of its way to feed us.
(And that’s why the driveway at Spirit Hill Farm is riddled with weeds. I will not use Roundup. Why would I want to kill nature when it is trying to support me? And, equally true, why would I want to spend hours pulling weeds in a driveway when I could be writing or planting things in the garden?)
Kindness also feeds us. In my previous post, I wrote about the work of a guest, Jim Peterson, and I’m just going to keep on writing about him because he made my day. Again. A little package arrived in the mail and when I opened it I found ANOTHER card Jim had made of a painting he’d done after his visit to Spirit Hill Farm.
Oh, my heart. Jim Peterson saw the apples when he was here! And now, here he is, paying it forward, bringing delight and wonder to us.
William Gass wrote, “It’s as though I were living at last in my eyes, as I have always dreamed of doing…” Spirit Hill invites you to live in your eyes because if you come here full of thought, full of yourself, your spinning brain, you miss the grasses moving in the slight breeze. You miss the birds who are in the garden, singing and delightedly eating the freshly planted kale seedlings. You miss the invitation to be, and that’s why we have guests who have been coming back for years: they welcomed the invitation and now they come here to remember themselves, to live in their eyes and to take a break from the wild brain that can drive a car at 100 miles an hour even when you are sleeping.
When one person shows us their vision, our own worlds become bigger and more exciting.
Right now the apples are just thoughts inside the tree’s branches. Little nubs of will. I will flower. I will flourish. I will feed people and birds and, when I fall, maurading chickens who are convinced they own the place even though everyone knows the king of the hill here is the mighty gopher. And the wild mole.