Monday, 7 October 2013

Call it good.

Such a good day, today.

I had to be out of the house early – a dental appointment at 8.30am.  I wanted to go by bus because my car had a flat tyre yesterday (Sunday, just as I was setting out to Mass).  The AA man (Automobile Association not Alcoholics Anonymous) came at once and sorted it out, but the spare wheel is a dinky little emergency one, so I didn’t want to drive it until I’d taken it down to ATS today to get a proper wheel back on.

So the day began with walking along our street smelling the fragrance of autumn, looking at the first russet leaves fallen, and the intensity of velvet moss in the cracks of paving stones, just beautiful, intoxicating.

I’ve been glad to leave behind the exhaustion of hours added to every journey by waiting for buses, but I still love travelling by bus and train, and enjoyed so much being on the bus again today.  I like the lurching bigness of it and marveling at the mindboggling variety of humanity clustered here in Hastings, sampled startlingly in the bus-travelling population.  The basic model of humanity; no add-ons.

In the town, the morning still early, brightest sunshine permeating lingering mist illuminated and bathed the old stone town hall in a haze of glory; made of it a mount of transfiguration.

My dentist is a person of rare quality; gentle, intelligent, skeptical, kind, perceptive, warm – and a most excellent dentist too.  As another member of the family observed, when you’ve been to see Ali, you always feel that he has given you energy instead of draining away all yours.  A healer, then.  He fixed my teeth.

On the way home, through the bus window I saw outside one of the dilapidated Hastings row houses a couple of delivery men stopping to talk to a woman with a puppy in her arms.  One of the men, small, thin, a face lined and worn by life and weather, hair in a pony tail, was focused entirely on the tiny dog, stroking its head. The puppy wriggled in an ecstasy of love, and the man’s face was alight with tenderness.

I took my car to ATS, where the men are astonishing – so cheerful and patient, good-humoured, funny, sensible.  Juggling their time between chatting to customers waiting while their cars are fixed, taking phone calls, brokering best deals on parts and chasing up loose ends.   Good mechanics, too.  I brought a car here once with a broken exhaust.  Replacing exhausts is one of the things ATS do – so they didn’t have to pull out all the stops to save me money in mending it as they did – the man even burning his hand in the fiddly welding.

If you watch the news, read the papers, you see nothing but tele-journalists with long faces spelling out just why you should be worried.  But everywhere I went today I found nothing but kindness, integrity, beauty and hope.  Humanity doing its best and life illumined with sunshine.

May God bless every person I saw, every life that touched mine.  As they go to bed tonight may they lie down in peace and their dreams touch heaven.  God bless this street, this town, this beauty, this ordinary kindness.  God look at it all and once more call it good.


Hawthorne said...

Amen! I was on a long bus journey today - over an hour each way. Didn't enjoy it as much as I usually do because, for some reason, I felt a bit queasy; sincerely hope I'm not going to develop the horrible car sickness I had as a child! Anyway, God touched me today by allowing me to sit in sunshine in Peterborough cathedral square, just listening to a busker, watching people pass by and, most of all, watching the pigeons in minute detail. I loved the way they strutted with their bright coral coloured feet, and the irridescence of purple and green on their necks. And I loved the way a male puffed himself up, cooing in a purring kind of way, trying to impress a female. She, however wasn't fussed at all, and just walked away. He immediately deflated, both literally and figuratively, and walked the opposite way, trying to look nonchalant about the whole thing. Yes, God's world can be very good!

Pen Wilcock said...

:0) xx

Julie B. said...

I think it must please God very much that you notice these people and things. Many folks go throughout their days and don't pay much attention. You have slowed down, try to live simply and as unencumbered as you can, and you notice the blessings and gifts He sends your way. And then you ask Him to bless them in return. Very, very beautiful.

Pen Wilcock said...

:0) xxx Hello friend x

Rachel said...

I love that about the dentist. He gives people energy rather than draining theirs. You have such a way of getting to the heart of a person in one sentence. It brought to mind the first page of The Hawk and the Dove. "My mother was not a pretty woman and never tried to make herself so."

Pen Wilcock said...

Hi Rachel - xx waving! :0)

Bean said...

I tire of all the bad news reported and was quite touched to read a story on our local news website the other day that showed goodness in the world.
The story was about an area farmer who has leukemia, he is sick and had several hundred acres of crops to bring in. So a group of farmers came together with equipment and a donation of their time, a local grain company donated trucks for hauling the harvest, and other business donated food and refreshments for the workers, and in an afternoon, they had that many volunteers, they were able to bring in the harvest for the sick farmer. It still makes me tear up to think of what they did to help their fellow farmer, this is exactly how God wants us to be, to open our hearts and have compassion for our fellow man and be willing to step up to plate and give of ourselves to help.

There is plenty of good in the world, it just isn't really reported on because bad news sells.


Pen Wilcock said...

Well, God bless those men!

Thanks for sharing that lovely story, Bean. xx

Rebecca said...

To simply parrot your phrases seems superfluous somehow, but I must! " Humanity doing its best and life illumined with sunshine."

"God bless this street, this town, this beauty, this ordinary kindness."

Thank you for penning these astute observations.

Pen Wilcock said...

:0) xx

Paula said...

Very special indeed, Pen. I remember seeing a video of a violinist busking in a Washington train station. Hardly anyone paid any attention, except a child, whose mother hurried him along, and a man of great discernment who recognized that the busker was a virtuoso. The violinist was Joshua Bell, and he was playing a priceless Stradivarius instrument.

What does it take to wake people up to the ordinary, if the extraordinary doesn't move them? The pigeons you wrote of sound enchanting--God's simplest work is extraordinary all by itself.

Angie Horsfall said...

Find your observations most encouraging. Yes we do hear mostly negative news in the media. Which contributes, some what, to the British disease of negativism I feel. So refreshing to hear people passing by praised.

Pen Wilcock said...

Hi Paula - oh, I know that video! xx

Hi Ange! Waving! xx

BLD in MT said...

And may you be equally blessed, Pen. I love this post. As you say, we hear so much of the worry... I always say if you only read the local paper you'd think our city a terrible cesspool of crime and people just not being nice. But, that isn't my experience of it at all. And I am glad. There are so many good folks who cross my path each and every day.

Pen Wilcock said...

:0) Hi Beth - waving! xx