Strangers Bearing Gifts

Sep 6, 2023 | Virtues of the Heart

We all have busy lives and I find myself rushing through my days more than I care to admit. Recently I wanted to make a quick trip to a gallery to pick up my artwork from a show that had ended. A quick get in and out, so I thought.

As I entered the gallery, there was a small group center of the room, I said my hellos to those I knew, as I began to head toward my sculptures. There was one woman standing that I did not know. She greeted me warmly and asked if I was an artist, I said yes, pointing to one of my sculptures which was on a pedestal against the wall behind her, and added, I have another sculpture in the adjoining room.

She was very friendly and continued talking in a friendly manner. I was distracted and wanted to load my sculptures and bases into my car, so I was not giving her my full attention. I noticed this and in respect for her, I tried to focus on her and listen while trying to organize my artwork. Even in my rushed distracted state, I sensed that she was a lovely person. She seemed genuine, authentic, and open with a pleasant way about her.

This added a sense of guilt as I tried to get on with my business at hand. Eventually, I shifted my focus to moving my artwork, but the impact of her lingered in me.

As I loaded my sculptures into my car, I talked to the gallery organizer in a way that was not rushed, which was interesting looking back. Somehow, I found the time to talk to her at more length. Was I judging the other woman and her importance to me? I had my priorities, and it seemed she was not one of them, this was obvious. My awareness of my actions came to me like a background voice giving me a scene-by-scene summary as if I were watching a movie.

After I loaded my car, I made one last return trip to the gallery to say thank you to those responsible for the show. As I was walking through the lobby of the building, I noticed the woman I spoke to earlier, she was removing her painting from the wall in the lobby.

I made a conscious decision to stop and talk to her. There was something about her that I needed to honor, although I was not sure why. We engaged in a conversation about various art shows, her artwork, and mine. As she was removing her last painting from the wall I was struck by the subjects of the painting. It was a group of faces, one human face in the middle of several animal and bird faces that formed a circle. I immediately said “Wow, I love this painting” and continued, “This makes a very powerful statement to me, I see the interconnectedness of these beings that are all presented as equals. I sense the mutual love and respect emanating from them and it makes a beautiful statement about having compassion for all living beings.” She smiled beaming with pride and said, “thank you”.

Viewing this painting changed my view of this woman, I respected her for creating this artwork that had so much sensitivity, and emotion and made a strong case for love and interconnectedness between all life forms. This supported the openness, gentleness, kindness, and genuineness, I had sensed in her earlier. There was an innocence in her demeanor, and she had a joyful way of talking as if she was happy to be talking to me, like we were old friends.

I began to slow down as we continued talking, I became conscious and focused, and I viewed this moment of connection as an important moment. I relaxed and was fully engaged with her as we talked about her art and other related topics.

I remained present, knowing this connection had a purpose and I must honor it and her. My busyness gave way to compassion, humility, kindness, and presence.

I helped with her painting, and I expressed how happy I was to meet her and reiterated how much I loved her painting.

As we parted ways, I knew that this was one of those small moments where I listened to the voice inside that was telling me to stop, be present, and honor the moment in front of me.

It was a moment of connection to my essence and the universe, and she was the doorway that allowed me to connect. She was a gift that appeared without fanfare, that so easily could have been missed if I had not listened to the voice of my heart. It was not words; it was intuition and feelings that cut through the noise of my unconscious habitual busy patterns.

In reflecting on this connection, I felt appreciation and humility wash over me. I was glad I became aware of this instant and made a conscious choice to be fully alive and in harmony with the universe. I realized how easy it is to live life unconsciously, in judgment, focused on the future, and how I can miss the magic and beauty of the moment that the universe has presented me.

This was a wonderful lesson in humility, appreciation, and understanding of the value of consciously living in the present moment and embracing what is in front of me no matter what or who it is.

The reward for taking the time to connect to a stranger emerges as a feeling and embodiment of something expansive and beautiful. A richness of life that words cannot describe.

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Wingmakers Study Groups

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