Tuesday, September 9, 2014

The Egg and The Thank You

So a few weeks ago I was on the phone with my husband at midnight and I heard a loud knock on the door.
I asked my husband to wait and I went to the door.
My dog was growling -- a low, guttural sound that he rarely makes.
The dog is freaked out.

I opened the door, stepped outside and saw nothing out of the ordinary.
I asked into the darkness if anyone was there.
It was quiet.

Buddy was still not quite right and about 20 minutes later I opened the door again to prove to him things were okay.
He sniffed around, marked his territory and settled back into his nighttime sleepy fluffball position.

I didn't think about it until the next day.
I went upstairs to open up the windows to let in the cool morning air before the heat of summer pressed in...
and I saw it.

An egg smashed on my window.

I opened the window and looked around.
Suddenly I'm Sherlock.

I search every other window in my house.
I patrol outside.
I'm convinced I've been egged by haters.

But why?

What's controversial?
What have I done that would need an egg punishment?

I thought perhaps Mary Kate had said something at her work.
Could Patrick have bothered someone?

Who throws an egg at someone's house?

I know it sounds silly, but I spent my day obsessing on the egg.
I felt bruised.

Like I had done something wrong.
Like someone I loved had done something to deserve it.

John blew it off as a kid-thing.
He's so much better at being drama-free.

It was a summer day -- and the school-is-happening-soon clock was ticking.
I knew I needed to break out of my funk.
I did the take-the-dog-for-a-walk-and-ignore-it thing...
this tactic is very effective.
Until you get home...and see bits of egg shell mocking you on your roof.

I couldn't shake it.

Through lunch, grocery shopping, normal summer fun with the kids and even through dinner.
I had egg on my face.

Finally, it was time to walk Buddy again.
I asked Caroline to come along (to cheer me up) 
and with a dog on a leash and a kid holding my hand I was ready to face the mean old world.
I had my armor on after all.

I got to the end of my walkway and stopped.
Someone, a stranger, had taken the time to draw three chalk flowers next to Caroline's big flower on the sidewalk and next to those three flowers the words: thank you.

I was floored.
Who could that be?
I hadn't revealed my egg shame to anyone.
No one was around.
Those flowers weren't there this morning.
Where had they come from?

It actually didn't matter.
It was my chance to exhale...for the first time all day.
I just stared at those flowers and smiled...a really big, goofy smile.

A tiny act of kindness.
The tiniest.
Three flowers and a thanks washed away that gooey egg -- a sprinkle of goodness 
straight from the universe.

So tonight I'm grateful for the smallest of things, the "everyday deeds of ordinary folk"...
they do, indeed, keep the darkness at bay.

Your job tomorrow: do a small thing.
One simple act of kindness and love.
It's so fun to consider...so many options.

Go ahead.
I double dog dare you.
Sprinkle the world with some love.
We all need it.
You never know what you might wash away.

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