Yesterday, leaving the harbour area, walking towards North Quay, i bump into the "soft-slippered" lady from my "KWAN YIN" poem, posted here on 23 / 02 /2012. Not unusual, of itself, as i see her quite often, and usually stop to chat. We go back 27 years. Until recently, she was always accompanied by her giant of a husband.....ANYWAY, she had just come out of an establishment, where the fish nibble at ones feet in tanks of water ! i ask her if this is what she has been up to, just to amuse her. No, she has just had her hair done. After a little banter with the young hairdresser and myself...Churchill speeches!! etc. she begins to worry as to how she will get home on her "bad feet". The hairdresser had agreed to see her home, but i say i will, as i am going in that direction myself -towards ASDA - near where she lives. i am happy to do this. We walk arm-in-arm, VERY SLOWLY..like walking meditation - very mindfully. All the while, she is saying "hello" , left and right. Most people, she knows...some she does not. There is no differentiation. Especially, she likes to greet children. She is only a child-like 4-foot-nine, or thereabouts, herself. A very little thing.
As we near ASDA, she says she has shopping to do. I'm hoping there will be a shop assistant to help her, as i've seen happening often in recent weeks. No one about !!....Come-on, i say, Let's be doing it, i know where everything is. She is pleased that i am helping her...still arm-in-arm. We put some items in the basket - 2 JAM SWISS ROLLS - 6 ORANGES - BAG OF MINT HUMBUGS - BAG OF LICORICE ALLSORTS & 1 BOTTLE LOW CALORIE FIZZY BITTER LEMON. (How is she still alive on this diet ? !...She has obviously, at about 80 years of age, not done too much wrong !)
How she manages, without regular help, is beyond me. No one, i believe, helped her, for many years, as she struggled to keep her "needy" husband in "order". So, where is/was the much heralded Care-in-the Community that MRS THATCHER brought-in, as she closed mental hospitals to give the "dignity" to patients, now no longer "needing" to be in an institution. They were now, sometimes, on the street instead !
AT HOME, i reflected on my day : my day of chats and ART EXHIBITIONS (Dorset Art Weeks), walking in a summer breeze on the Esplanade...pretty girls....BUT THE BEST OF IT,was being with "my" "soft-slippered little-lady", of lending my arm, hands and heart to someone who required them. My only regret is that I KNOW I COULD HAVE HELPED HER MORE. IT ONLY REQUIRED SOME TIME AND A MORE OPEN, LOVING HEART AND NATURE. As THICH NHAT HANH says = we are all connected = "WE INTER-ARE". YOUR sadness makes ME unhappy. YOUR happiness = MY happiness. WE ARE ALL CONNECTED. THIS IS INTERBEING. This is why the DALAI LAMA says = "MY RELIGION IS KINDNESS."
(Sunday 27th MAY 2012)
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