Wednesday, 26 June 2013

Incidental Joys

- When the amusement park kiddie-ride came to a stop a father lifted his little daughter out of the front seat and then noticed another pre-school girl sitting behind. The brown-skinned, black-bearded man with a turban reached his arms toward her. She gazed up at the stranger and they both hesitated for a split-second. The dad looked over his shoulder seeking for parents’ approval to go ahead and help their child. When I caught his eye, I nodded at him with a smile of appreciation and tiny, milky-skinned Amelia with curly blonde pigtails was kindly picked up and set on her feet to run to me. Ah, if all interracial, interfaith, and intercultural interactions were as sweet as this. 

- Flipping TV channels, I heard a movie character say,
"I don’t care if he’s a member of the god-damned Salvation Army”. I snorted at the incongruity; there’s a phrase you never expect to hear. Not exactly a joy but pretty funny.

- My house backs onto a large church building. From my lawn chair one day in June, I heard applause through the church basement‘s open windows. It was graduation day at nursery school. Over and over there were bursts of applause and camera flashes. I laughed out loud when I heard music begin and realized it was Elger’s “Pomp and Circumstance” the traditional processional piece at formal occasions. My heart warmed at such signs of appreciation for dear children.

- Losing any Buddhist pretensions to non-violence I killed a mosquito whose gut was already red with my arm’s blood. Seconds later, I noticed what must have been one of its legs on the page of my book. The black strand was about 2 centimetres long and as thin as a pen stroke. How can insects at that size and fragility survive long enough to reproduce by the millions? Itchy awe.

- In preparation for the national holiday, my neighbour draped a Maple Leaf flag over her garden bench. One morning a bright crimson cardinal landed beside the red and white flag, and posed for a moment like a cheerful Canadian dressed for the fireworks show. As I watched, he flew down to forage on the driveway and a female cardinal fluttered in to replace him on the bench. I remained still, a grin of joy on my face. If you want to see Nature’s wonders you have to linger. Lo and behold, the male flew back to the female and, beak-to-beak, presented her with a diamond ring...or maybe it was a juicy bug.