Walking Cross Town. Small gestures with big tailwinds.

Late to bed Tuesday night, following long return flight from Phoenix.

Late jump Wednesday morning.

4th morning train to NYC.

Light misty rain.

And, Terry Tempest Williams continues to lay tracks.

In the end, it’s rarely the large gestures that count, it’s the small ones.

My antenna is up.

On train, a middle aged man gives up his seat for a lady. She’s not young. Not old. Not pregnant. He just does it. And stands for the entire 55 minute ride.

At Grand Central Station, Construction worker, hard hat under his arm, looks behind as he crosses the threshold of the exit, sees me coming, holds door open. I was several yards back. Let’s say 10 yards back. Rare occurrence. It was a conscious act.  Everyone is exhausted with political attacks, the lack of civility. How about some decency today?

And the gestures, small, keep coming.

Flight to Phoenix. Elderly lady sits in aisle seat. Not her seat. “Would you mind taking the window seat.” She gestures asking him to lean closer: “I have a bladder problem.” He slides across and takes the window seat. “No problem.” She exhales.

Susan out for a morning walk in Phoenix. She returns to tell me “the most unbelievable story.” I roll my eyes. Can’t wait to hear this.  She comes across a lady walking “Sunny”, a Golden Doodle.  Lady asks where we’re from. Susan explains. “Here to visit my husband’s younger brother. He’s hospitalized and breathing with the aid of a ventilator.” Lady pauses to assess the receptiveness of her planned gesture.  “I’m sorry to be so forward, but would you mind if I said a Prayer for him and for you.” And then proceeds to reach for Susan’s hands, and Prays.

I walk across Fifth Avenue. It’s 7 a.m. E.S.T. and 4 a.m. in Phoenix.

He’s sleeping now, machine pumps oxygen into his lungs.

I stand waiting for the cross walk sign to turn.

I look up, light drizzle brushes my face, three flags flap over a major hotel entrance.

I inhale deeply, and then exhale, and this Agnostic fires up his own Prayer.

Breathe Bro. Breathe.


Photo: Mine with smartphone. At Times Square yesterday morning, at the end of my cross-town walk. NYC awakening.

 

Comments

  1. each of those acts was a prayer unto itself.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. All moments of prayer – and in the stillness of the morning, I’m saying mine for your brother, your family and all those who provided you brief moments of grace.

    Liked by 3 people

  3. If we could all remember the huge impact a small gesture creates for another, we would all be doing it daily. 🙏🏻 My thoughts are with you and your brother.

    Liked by 3 people

  4. Isn’t it amazing how the most quotidian actions can have the most profound impact? Making a vow to share “small” gifts with others today and holding your brother, your family and you close to my heart….

    Liked by 3 people

  5. Chronicle of hope

    Liked by 2 people

  6. 🙂 All the above. ❤

    Liked by 2 people

  7. These are the moments we need to recognize, remember and celebrate…they are real life. Mary Oliver and I might question agnostic. Just saying.

    >

    Like

  8. Hoping and praying for a positive outcome.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Michael Zahaby says:

    Good thoughts and wishes go your way and your brother’s

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Lorraine Mahoney says:

    As I read this just now David, the sun was coming up over the mountains in San Diego. It was a beautiful moment made more so by your words. My very best to you and your family.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Vera Kanigan says:

    Tears flowed when I read your post this morning, tears of love, prayers and hope to your brother and all of your family. Will continue to pray and send our blessings from our small corner….

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Oh man. There you go opening my morning with tears and a grateful heart.

    So many small acts of ordinary grace. Regardless what I believe in, or about, I feel how those moments of small ordinary grace ripple across hearts and miles, and into machines breathing oxygen into the lungs of someone we love.

    Sending you and your brother tender words of grace, healing, courage and Love.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. This fits so well with our impression of Americans. We notice whenever we go to the States how polite and friendly the people are. You always get one or two that are not so nice, but out of the millions, I bet most of them are warm and friendly and polite like the ones we meet. Canadians (not all, of course), I’m sorry to say, just don’t go the extra mile to be “warm and fuzzy.” They are more reserved, aloof, and sometimes downright rude. It pains me to say that, because I love my country (Canada), but I can’t help but notice a difference when we cross the border. We Canadians could take a lesson in good manners and empathy. And now I’m going to duck for cover because many people (Canadians) will disagree with me.

    Liked by 2 people

  14. your observations show that people are inherently good. sending positive thoughts for your brother.

    Liked by 2 people

  15. You know these are my favourites of yours. Wonder what you were doing up so late on Tuesday 😉
    All these seemingly random acts of kindness grow as we pay attention and pay it forward. What a beautiful thing to happen to Susan! I am not one for prayer but this was most touching to me.
    I send good vibes your brother’s (and your) way and hope he recovers from what ails him.

    Liked by 3 people

  16. Sad, but beautiful.

    Liked by 1 person

  17. So powerful–both your writing and love. I’m keeping your brother and you in my thoughts, David. Godspeed.

    Liked by 1 person

  18. The Universe sending you and Susan prayers in the small acts of others. Synchronicity at its finest. Prayers for your brother, and for you and the family from Northern California.

    Liked by 1 person

  19. Dear friend; when I read that in the morning, the dams of my water-château broke down so heavily that I wasn’t able to write. Then the day took over, as it tends to do – and now that I’m back, you have all the most beautiful comments you deserve, on this extra-ordinary tale, yet nobody seemed to notice what made me ‘sit-up’ first of all. Only a day or two ago you wrote about being an agnostic. Yet, it seemed that this short text and the events unfolding made you a believer😉
    I’m a firm believer in kindnesses, small and bigger ones. I’m surrounded by kindness, and I’m not surprised by the woman who held on to Susan because she felt that what you needed was a prayer and the faith that somewhere, somehow, things will be taken care of. During a long time, I had a boss who addressed me several times, asking me to pray for him…. To my highly arched eyebrows and astonished question ‘why would you want me to pray for you when you’re a self-proclaimed agnostic?’ he smiled and said: I don’t believe but I know you do and I know that your God will help me! I would and could never be as brave as that woman with dog, but it is a very American thing I’ve witnessed already decades ago. AND it is beautiful. It’s also beautiful to see those many kindnesses, and to pay forward.
    It’s one of your best of so many outstanding tales of your life. May we now collectively pray for your brother and wish him and you all as a family the very best, the best care, the best outcome, big strength & also acceptance?! He is not alone, and neither are you.

    Liked by 2 people

  20. You are something special Kiki. Thank you. You made this blog, such an important and special place for me. So very important.

    Liked by 1 person

  21. Holding him, and all of you, in my prayers!
    🙏

    Liked by 1 person

  22. I love how the universe quietly conspired to offer gentle nudges of grace your way. Prayers for your brother and for you ~ and thank you for letting us see the world with fresh eyes, too.

    MJ

    Liked by 1 person

  23. (Have been out of the country and couldn’t comment until yesterday.)
    Sending prayers and hope, DK. 🙏

    Liked by 1 person

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