Tuesday, 22 December 2009

A Kind Word from A Stranger

Many many people, some of them who will even be reading these very words, have shown me kindness over the years. In all truthfulness, on most of these occasions, I am not as appreciative as I should be and for that I am sorry. This note however isn’t really about such cases. It’s more the random word from the unknown person that strengthens and inspires.

I had such a case in the Pyrenees a few years back. I wasn’t intending to climb any mountains but was talked into it by my younger and much fitter friend. I told him not to wait for me but I would meet him up the top. Soon he disappeared through the trees above. The path was hard and at first I was glad to break through the tree line into the clear air and views. But then the Sun started to shine. It was hot, I was fat and being fair-skinned, I am susceptible to sun-stroke .

It must have been quite a sight that greeted that young mountaineer, descending from his morning climb. I had taken off my tee shirt and wrapped it into a turban which also covered the back of my neck. My large white belly must have been shining in the bright sunshine.

As we passed, he looked at me and said quietly “Courage, mon amie.”

* * *

At this time of year, when we are told that we should be happy, often that is not the case. Looking back today at that small episode has made me aware that even the smallest act of kindness can make a difference. And what a wonderful thing to wish for another!
These words are my Christmas gift to you. It isn’t much. A thousand dollars would have been more practical but I haven’t got that to give.
I wish you a happy, peaceful Christmas. May others show you their kindness.
And I wish you courage, my friends.