Much More Than Fennel Start

Last week I arrived home one evening to find, much to my surprise, a little offering of neighborly kindness.  On top of the compost bin outside the kitchen door sat a baby fennel plant with a note that read,

“Some fennel starts if you’d like them.  From: your neighbor at Apt. #81.”

What a thoughtful random act of kindness from a neighbor who I have never met.  I decided such an act should be returned with a personal face-to-face thank you and formal introduction.  After a few tries I finally was able to put a face to that kind neighbor and I’m glad I did.

 We talked briefly, mostly about the garden next to our house and how she took her visiting sister by last week to have a look.  I mentioned how grateful we were to receive her fennel start and assured her we have yet to kill it.  Then, as we were saying our goodbyes something happened.  The new neighbor-acquaintance stopped and smiled behind her screen door and said, “You know today has been a really good day but this was the best thing that’s happened to me so far.”  I stopped in my tracks and through my ear to ear grin wished her a great rest of the evening and returned home with a heartwarming feeling and a renewed believe in humanity.

So often I find myself wrapped up in the rat race called life and forget to breathe, take it all in, and cherish the random acts of kindness life gives us.  Instead, it’s easy to get distracted by all the negativity and inhumane acts that surround us on a daily basis.  Just when you think you can’t take another adolescent glued to their smart phone on the bus unaware of the elder without a seat, life has a way of throwing a much needed refresher your way.  Mine happened to be in the form of that little fennel plant from the neighbor at apartment #81. 

Everyone could use a little refresher in this game we call life , so remember:  say thank you, wish people a nice day even if you aren’t having one yourself, smile, and never underestimate the power of the little things in life.