Recently, a friend and colleague of mine lost her husband of 48 years. After some time away she had returned to work, one of our company’s business partners sent her a beautiful flower arrangement to express their condolences. My colleague was touched and loved the gift. She mentioned that she wished she could dry the flowers so she could preserve that arrangement as it looked for as long as possible.

As the weeks passed, she was unable to find a solution for drying the flowers. Soon they became brown and withered. I watched her pick at the pieces and throwing away only the rotting parts until there was just a few petals left.

However, when I initially heard her talk about the gesture and how much she loved the arrangement I suggested she take a photo while the flowers were still fresh. Remembering this I had an idea. So I asked her permission to take whatever was left home with me for the weekend . She agreed. I took the glass vase and what was left of the arrangement.

I went to Michaels, a craft store where they sell art supplies.  I found a section filled with artificial flowers. I used that image as my reference and tried my best to match artificial flowers to the original ones. When I got home I began. I cut off the stems, I carefully tucked the new artificial flowers into place, making it look as beautiful as the day she received them.

Glass bubble flowers

After the weekend upon my return to work, I delivered the new arrangement to my colleague. I saw tears in her eyes, tears of appreciation. She was so touched that she even offered to pay me. I was flattered so I thanked her and kindly refused. I had not done it to receive anything back. I was happy I took the time to try and restore something my friend appreciated. Especially something that reminds her of her beloved husband.

Do you have good things you enjoy doing for others? Even small things? My husband and I often pay for the bill of someone behind us at a coffee drive through at Tim Horton’s. It has also happened to me more than once, when I have arrive at the cashier’s window to pay, only to find that someone already paid my bill. I tell you, this always makes me feel that there is kindness all around us.

What do you give to others? something that brings you joy? It doesn’t even need to be something tangible, it might just be your time or some other way you do something that makes others feel special.

Please share.

With Love & Gratitude – Awa

The first few years of my childhood in Zimbabwe were spent between two homes, one in the city of Bulawayo and another in the village of Lupane. During the times I spent in the village, I used to tag along with my mother or with a relative as we walked to the bus stop every Saturday to wait for fresh supplies of food that my father had sent to us from the city.

There were always other families waiting for their parcels as well. These were the only chances I would have to mingle and play with other kids before I started school. While all the families waited, there were lots of cars passing by, as this road led to one of the world’s wonders, the Victoria Falls.

Standing by a Baobab tree along Victoria Falls Road in 2014.
Standing by a Baobab tree along Victoria Falls Road in 2014.

We would wave at the travellers and they would smile and wave back. The most exciting part was when some of the passing tourists would toss out sweets and other goodies from their car window as they sped by. Usually it was the kids in the cars that would toss the treats.

This spiced things up and entertained us all while we waited at the roadside bus station. We would run to pick up the surprises with anticipation to see what it was that a stranger had decided to share. If there were not enough sweets, we would take them and place them on a rock and take a smaller stone to hammer the candy so it would break in tiny pieces and all the kids could share. Our excitement was not derived from hunger. We were all well provided for and healthy. For me, it was like strangers were sharing something of themselves with us.

Those moments in my childhood are some of my most cherished memories in the village that I have never forgotten. The last time I visited Victoria Falls, I passed by the very same road side bus station where these

With a sculptor selling beautiful creations from wood.
A sculptor shows off his beautiful wooden creations along Victoria Falls Road. 

memories were created. A feeling of nostalgia came over me. I shared with my fiancé my memories of this and we decided we would do the same; we would leave little tokens of appreciation to strangers along that road. We dropped packets of potato crisps, sweets and chocolate bars. At times we stopped to chat with vendors and even if we didn’t buy anything, we would leave some kind of gift for them. The last person we saw was a young boy who was running along the road going the opposite direction. He was going to the next village with a message. He was delighted to get a bag of potato crisps and a cold drink. I told him that I had grown up not too far from where we met him. He wished us well. My heart was filled with the joy that comes along with sharing little things with strangers.