Describe a moment of kindness, between you and someone else — loved one or complete stranger.
Well it just so happens that I am sitting down to write about the wonderful afternoon/evening I just had, thanks to a simple moment of kindness. It turned out completely different than I had expected, but just about a million times better. [I’m exhausted and this post will probably have some errors, but you’ll get the point].
About an hour after getting home from the office where I am doing my internship, I was sitting on a bench in the Common, soaking up the sun and watching dozens of people play baseball and ultimate frisbee, walk and play fetch with their dogs, play hacky sack, ride bikes, etc.
I was writing a letter to a friend in Mexico and was pretty contented to just sit at a picnic bench to enjoy being outdoors to relax and write. There was a pleasant breeze and a few wandering clouds temporarily blocked the direct sunlight. I was enjoying admiring all those teammates and individuals running about around me, doing such varied activities and having so much fun.
I’d close my eyes for a few seconds and just soak up all the sounds around me and smile at the luck I had to be sitting in the sun after a long winter/spring. The thought that tomorrow would be the Summer Solstice was also pretty comforting.
As I was spilling my thoughts on paper, I was, on the other hand, feeling pretty lazy and wishing I could be actively running about like those people around me (although there were a few people just lying on the grass in the sun), especially on such a beautiful afternoon. ‘It has been nearly two weeks since I returned from my training in Tatamagouche’, I thought… ‘I need to MOVE after being in an office in front of a computer, under fluorescent lighting, in an office without windows, for hours on end.’
Well, about 10 minutes after thinking that, I was approached by a guy in jeans and a grass-soiled white T-shirt.
Random guy I did not know: “Hey! Do you want to join us in a game of ultimate frisbee?”
Me: As I looked up from my letter (in disbelief at the invitation), “Uh, sure…I’d love to.”
Guy: “Cool. What’s your name?”
And about five hours later, here I am, back in my bedroom, pretty sleepy, but more content than I could imagine. After an hour of ultimate with six other enthusiastic people whom I met on the spot, I felt like I was on an ‘exercise high’…tired, but my muscles felt loose and I felt so free in the breezy evening air. No one had kept score, but we all knew that were all winning anyways-we were having a blast, cheering each other on as if we’d been team mates for years.
[I even met a shy young German woman –playing on my team — who had been WWOOFing in the fall…on the other side of Canada…in my province…in my neighbourhood…for a lovely family whose children I babysat years ago!…small world].
After we finished playing, people started heading their different ways…all too soon it seemed. SO when the words ‘jam sesh’ were mentioned, I knew I was not ready to say bye to these people.
A little while later I was at a nearby hostel with violin in hands ‘jamming’ with some others whom I met on the spot. In a room with a vibrant, youthful energy not present in the more formal (although very friendly) work environment which I’m immersed in during the day time. This hang out space was scattered with travellers from all over the world chilling, conversing, reading, eating dinner, drinking beer, writing emails.
Living in the moment.
The jam sesh was already underway when I arrived. One of the owners, a talented singer-songwriter, was on guitar and his partner was complimenting every song with her beautiful voice and stunning harmonies. A middle-aged man was on his guitar, a young guy was happy to be playing his and a couple of people were looking on.
The 10 yr. old son of the hostel owner was reading on the couch, immersed in his novel.
Some random people came from the street to buy coffee and stopped for a few moments to enjoy the music.
Hostel guests strolled in from long days of sightseeing and seemed pleasantly surprised by the live music just inside the door.
Some musicians had to leave for meetings and promised to be back next week.
I showed an Australian musician how to play the violin and while he had a go on my violin, I tried out his ukulele. A few perhaps unpleasant sounds came out of both instruments, but they were covered by laughter and friendly conversation.
An Irish guest sat down and enjoyed the music, and then struck up conversations with us musicians about life in Halifax, life on the other side of Canada.
The chill hostel café staff kept all well fed and eventually put on some music once the live music making had ended.
…(many more good times and magical musical moments had by all).
I left knowing the names of a handful of amazingly talented people, with tunes stuck in my head. With plans for jam sesh nights and open mic’s for next week. With thoughts about the upcoming Jazz Fest. With plans to play ultimate frisbee next Thursday. With a stomach full of a delicious, well seasoned chicken samosa. And a Bermudian classic which was actually listed on the menu: A Dark and Stormy.
With the oh-so-satisfying feeling that music is truly a beautiful thing which acts as a bonding tool across cultures and languages.
With the hope that more people would stop being scared of strangers
and just TRUST them.