I took this picture first thing this morning while the dogs roamed the grass, soaking up as much outside time as possible before the storms. And I thought to myself, a fire is burning.
Fire is brilliant, warm, necessary. Fire is passion. Fire is life. Fire can also be destruction.
We need to look no farther than our own TV screens to see the tragedy of war, death, destruction, and fire. Ukraine is on fire with horrific, human catastrophe. And really, tragedy is everywhere. Inflation is high and hardships are some of the only things unaffected by the supply chain issue.
But there is hope.
A fire for kindness is burning too:
On Friday, a colleague of mine took an hour out of her day to meet with me and share what she knows about self-publishing. She also called me on her husband’s birthday to follow up with questions I had.
Yesterday, my good friend found a little Yorkie roaming a busy street and she saved his life! She took him to her already full home (she has three large dogs), gave him a bath, food, and love, and tirelessly worked to find his owners. And she did. And the family was ecstatic!
Today, I was completely surprised by a wonderful person, reaching out to me to offer unexpected help and inspiration!
As the fiery skies of the morning turned to harsh rain, I thought about how touched I have been by these simple acts of kindness in my world. I am lucky. We, who live in peace, are all lucky.
The rain flooded my backyard and the dogs paced the house, keeping me from concentrating. I know my Aussie wanted to go frolic in the mud, but instead he spent his time watching the wind blow the puddles in his yard, noticing any movement that occurred outside–birds bathing, tree limbs falling, the neighbors walking their dogs with an umbrella. He focused on the details.
And so did I. I noticed (and sought out) people everywhere going out of their way to help others, not only here at home as I mentioned, but also abroad on a much larger scale. I learned about many great causes today, one of which is that actor Sean Penn is helping supply humanitarian aid to Ukraine. He was over there in Ukraine prior to the war to film a documentary, returned to interview President Zelenskyy at the start of the war, and now is working to help get aid to the people in any way he can. I’ll admit I was surprised by this story since he will always be Jeff Spicoli to me, but his passion for this cause is tremendous. You can learn about the organization he is working with at coreresponse.org.
It’s important to point out that had I not been looking for good in the world, I would have missed this Sean Penn story. The negative so easily consumes most of our “news” regardless of the source. And sometimes, understandably, we just cannot look beyond our own backyard.
Eventually, the dogs had more time outside to get their paws full of mud, and thankfully, the rain washed away much of the yellow pollen choking all of us here in North Georgia. And that’s what I’m thinking about here at the end of the day as the dogs fill the room with their snoring and breathing.
Kindness is like rain, nourishing, hydrating, cleaning the earth, washing away someone else’s pain or struggles as much as possible, even if only a little. There are so many wonderful examples of humanity out there, people giving of themselves in so many ways.
I can’t help but love the brilliance and warmth of a burning fire, but I plan to be as much like the rain as I can too.
As is my new tradition, I'm ending this today with a thoughtful quote: "The sky broke like an egg into full sunset and the water caught fire" - Pamela Hansford Johnson
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