A couple of nights ago, I was in my backyard near the alley, where I had planted a bed full of "highway" lilies. I call them "highway" lilies because they are the orange lilies with a very thin outline of yellow that you see growing in masses along country roads and highways. I was fortunate enough to get my hands on some a few years ago and they flourished to the point where I needed to transplant; therefore, the flower bed behind the garage became a new home for the majority of them.
As I was weeding the bed, a small girl popped out from between two houses across the alley from me. I smiled at her and she smiled right back and pronounced, "Hi, my Mom is Vanessa". Not immediately being able to recall anyone nearby named Vanessa, I asked "Who is Vanessa?". She promptly answered "she's my Mom". From the mouths of babes, right?
Anyway, as I was talking and weeding, my shoulder brushed against one of the blooms, and it fell off. I reached down to pick it up and immediately asked the little girl if she would like to have it. She absolutely beamed, shaking her head up and down and saying "Yes!".
In that absolute moment, I flashbacked (or is it flashed back?) to my childhood. I grew up in the small town of Mulberry, Indiana. Mulberry is the kind of place where you hopped on your bike and rode for what seemed like hours and you were never in stranger danger of any kind. When the streetlights came on, that's when you went home--you know, that kind of thing.
One summer night, I packed up my sisters' Fisher-Price camera--the one with the "flashbulb" that rotated whenever you snapped the "shutter"--and set off on my last bike ride of the day. Riding by a small ranch-style house on the street behind where I lived, I noticed these giant, beautiful flowers that were nothing like anything I had ever seen before. So, being little and being a dork, I got off my bike and walked up to the flowers and started snapping away with the Fisher-Price camera.
Looking back now, I realize that the giant flowers were in front of the living room picture window of the house. The owners most likely saw everything; me getting off the bike, walking through the front yard, and shooting away with the toy camera. What a hoot that must have been for them!
Anyway, the lady of the house came out and asked me if I would like to have one of those blooms to take home. Of course I said yes, and she cut one off and gave it to me. Thinking back, I believe that the flower was a hibiscus because I remember it being showy and as big as a dinner plate. I know I thanked the lady, because that's what we were taught to do when someone did something nice for us. I then hopped back onto my bike and rode home, carrying that flower like it was a piece of gold from Fort Knox.
Giving that flower to that little girl let me play a part that I had always wanted to play ever since that lady gave me the bloom to take home. I was able to give a little bit of kindness to a young girl, who hopefully will pass that kindness along to another young child at some point in her life. Just the thought makes me smile and makes me warm all over. Thank goodness that memory resurfaced when it did. The old adage is true; small acts of kindness are never forgotten.