Most times I waited for the train, she was there, whatever time of day it was. White wires to white player = apple world. She never arrived without these wires, nor a method to become detangled.
We never spoke to each other. No hellos or fine weather predictions. She was my totem. Days she wasn’t there felt strange and out of place.
Yet, we had made little or no contact. No thank you for the stable sense of having her there at the train stop. I kept meaning to say hello, or comment about the weather. But the distance she kept from me and the other passengers seemed to be a fortress she built around herself.
One harried afternoon, as I waited for the train, I heard a voice: Miss, Miss. It took me a moment to realize the miss was me. I turned and to my surprise it was my totem woman. “You have a post-it-note on the back of your dress.” And sure enough I did. I thanked her for telling me.
As the train pulled in, she asked if I needed help negotiating my cart onto the train. I said thanks, but I think I can handle it. As she walks by once I’m settled into a seat on the train, I wish her a good weekend. And she was never seen again.
Was her purpose to pass along a kindness to a stranger? An angel earning her wings (I didn’t hear a bell ring)? Simply a co-incidence?
Waiting at another train station this spring, there was a younger version of her waiting for the train. No acknowledgement, no contact, no return. But the feeling she was checking up on me. Again, disappeared into nothingness.
Now I say hello or good morning/afternoon to everyone I pass on the sidewalk or to clerks in a store. It seems important to spread the message she gave me on the last day I saw her. To acknowledge others, to help when you can, and to never forget that kindness comes from the soul. The kindness you do today – a smile, a thank you, a hello may make the difference in someone’s life. What more of an argument for passing along kindness than if it saves another from loneliness and despair.