A Time and a Season

by | Apr 21, 2020 | Season, Time

I am planting a few things today!

There is something marvelous about bringing in vegetables from your own garden. Course my garden is only being planted and it is very small, so once a week, the next best thing is going to the Farmer’s Market to buy the fresh garden vegetables planted by someone else!

This week at the market I happened to spot a little woman and the look in her eyes disturbed me. She looked a bit frightened and there was no peacefulness about her. I do not know her but quite a few years ago I saw her. She looked so serene that day, I believe it was nine years ago. I am wondering what disturbance or uncertainties are happening in her life to be causing her distress. Of course a lot can happen in nine years.

When I last saw her she was also in the midst of a busy scene, but that day she appeared to be calm and at peace with life.

It was her size that caught my eye the first time I saw her. She had no legs and just sat peacefully near a sidewalk café watching life around her.

Her shoes were tin cans. They were about four inches tall and what appeared to be ordinary 14-ounce cans. The cans seemed to act as protectors for the lady as she crawled. Actually she didn’t really crawl, as she had no knees. I imagine she possibly had short stubs for legs with cans fitted over them. I noticed her as I sat at the sidewalk café.

She moved slowly by leaning forward until her gloved hands were on the pavement, then she hoisted herself forward, dragging her trunk and the tin can protectors. Then she would lean forward again and the procedure repeated itself. When she was right across from me she halted and sat there gazing around at the people.

The day was beautiful and she sat there in the sun, looking serene and comfortable, observing life around her.

My heart went out to her and I opened my wallet to find money for her. When I approached her with it she brought up her right arm to accept it and as I leaned down to her it hit me that there was no place to put the money. She had no fingers or thumbs. I asked her if she would like me to place it in her bag and with a lovely smile and a pleasing, soft voice she said yes and thanked me.

I returned to my seat and continued talking with my husband but found my thoughts straying to her. I felt concern. Her options for earning a living were limited. I hoped others at the sidewalk café would notice her and offer her charity.

A group of tourists next to us paid their bill and started to leave. I looked at them and thought, “Please see her and open your heart and your handbag.” But one by one they passed her by, not even glancing down, yet I knew they had to have seen her. If they looked down they would have had to acknowledge her existence. Was it easier for them to pretend she didn’t exist?

The people next to us paid their bill and started to leave. The last lady in the group stopped and opened her handbag. I held my breath, hoping she was looking for cash for the tin can lady, not for a tip. She retrieved something from her bag and walked over leaning down to offer it to the physically challenged lady.

I observed the sweet smile of the lady with the tin can shoes as she accepted the charity. Then I watched as she began her slow journey down the street; lean forward, connect with pavement and pull. What a resilient woman! She moved in an astounding manner.

She had an attitude about her. She was accepting and uncomplaining and I felt I had encountered someone very special, a woman of grace. She didn’t ask for anything. In fact, it was as though she was oblivious to her own plight. She merely sat, enjoying the day, gracing each stranger with a smile. Perhaps she was not there that day to beg . I suspect she was there that day to give. From her I received an appreciation for all I had.

There are times in our lives when it is our turn to give to others and what we give may be money, an act of kindness, a smile, a kind word, a shoulder to cry on, or such a look of serenity that it motivates others. We cannot see into the homes or minds of others. We know NOT what they are suffering, yet our gentle spirits, our thoughtfulness, our warm smiles, caring words or helpfulness may make a huge difference. We each have much to give!

You are a wonderful giver!

Ellie Braun-Haley


A Time and a Season