DORY'S DIARY: Thanking someone who asks for nothing

By Dorothy Swart Fleshman February 17, 2014 07:34 am

Folks have asked me how I find something to write about each week, so I’ve given some thought to it but found no real answers.

Sometimes an idea comes that needs developing; sometimes I’ve been pleased or provoked by something happening in my life; sometimes I’m just sitting remembering anything that comes to mind; and, sometimes I consider something happening around me.

Take this morning — Feb. 9 — for example.

I was sitting in my chair at the computer waiting for its slow dial-up to tell me whether or not I had received a message from anyone. The venetian blinds at my office window had been pulled partway open to let in the daylight, the slats forming horizontal lines, so I was peeking outside between them. It was a dull day but the snow had stopped falling at the moment to provide an unframed picture of the corner of three buildings, snow-topped roofs, footed by winter-sleeping shrubs, and topped by an evergreen tree sitting in place beside a power-providing pole of wires linking each side of the picture with an unseen world.

It was the wires of this pole that drew my eyesight upward because there were birds sitting in place in what became an arrangement of music notes on a music staff, starting on the low “e” wire; above it a bird on the “b” wire and one above that on the “f” wire, then one  on the “g” note and one on the “c” note above the staff. 

There were others coming down the other side in some arrangement of their own, but it made me wonder what they were playing.

I tried to hum the notes that I saw there, but age has taken most of my singing voice and the pleasure it had brought me over the years, so it didn’t work too well, and I had no instrument to tune into it. It was just fun to think that some composer could make up the rest of the music to become something for others to enjoy or at least bring to mind something already written to fill one’s day with repetition.

The birds sat in formation as though waiting for me to document their efforts, a chorus of others sitting in the wings of a leafless tree beneath the soloists.

A few flakes of snow began drifting into the picture and the birds, as a flock, left their choir room to my disappointment, and the power wires became just that again, maybe bringing me some important message to my computer or connecting me to a loved one quite some distance away. The shutters at the window again separated me from the cold of the winter world outside as I measured with my unpracticed eye a possible 5 inches of snow to be shoveled from my doorstep and driveway.

But, something else had happened when I opened the venetian blind in my living room, facing the main thoroughfare. The snow had been shoveled away.

Over the night or early morning, someone had removed what had stood in my way to the world outside my domain. I’m still questioning the “who” and “why me” of it. I felt a great deal of gratitude to the Random Act of Kindness that had been on my doorstep while I enjoyed the birds playing their silent song on the power wires outside my office. I felt tears wanting to come to the surface and express themselves through my eyes.

I have always known, and heard it often repeated, that one kind act cannot be repaid in itself, but it can be passed on by yourself to someone else.

In one’s late 80s one wonders what act of kindness can be provided in appreciation, especially when the giver seems to want to remain anonymous, other than saying “thank you” through my column, hoping that the person(s) involved reads it.

Kindness is everywhere you look just as I have recently experienced it with friends, family, and in our Grande Ronde Hospital. If you are looking for places of compassion, concern, and aid, look no further until your next need surfaces. While we can find things wrong everywhere we look if we just look hard enough, these corners of commendation are to be lauded, never to be overlooked, for without them our lives would suffer greatly in their absence.

What can one write about week after week on Mondays in the “Dory’s Diary” column, her secret diary?

It’s easy. Just sit and think about life in general, the past, the present, the future. Look about oneself at the simple things, the little things one takes for granted every day. Life, while hurtful and unkind, has a message of wonder and love.

And, with it in March, come the daffodils in front of my house that have been teasing me since their tips came above the surface in January and February snows.