Friday, April 24, 2015

Little and Big, 3.5



The postman was waiting in front of the gate as I returned with the dogs from our morning walk. He is a funny character in his way. Youngish - the -ish being key - and with a laid back air that I find frequently in the postal workers here. Often he is smoking a cheroot as he makes his rounds, sometimes he stops in at the neighbor's for a coffee, today he was wearing boxy skater style shorts. "Colis pour vous," he said with an upward nod as if to clarify that it was indeed for me and not the dogs. "Encore?" But we weren't expecting anything...My eyes started to water up as soon as I saw my Mom's handwriting on the label, so I quickly thanked him and called out a "Bon Weekend" before stepping into the shade of the kitchen. With a swift draw of the kitchen knife, the box was open and I was pulling out its contents as if they were delicate treasures. I found several articles from the NY Times magazine that I had missed and a super colorful makeup bag from Clinique filled with moisturizers, eye shadows and lipsticks. The card was short, "...to cheer you up..." and then, of course, the tears, happy ones, really started to flow. To be so loved and cared for, from so far away and with a ghost of that umbilical cord that still links us. She knows that we have been going through a hard time and that this gift would be a wonderful luxury to me and she was right. I wiped my eyes with a paper towel and smoothed on one of the lipsticks to pucker my lips with a pop.


Two days ago, a box of similar size had been delivered by the same postman, who happened to be sporting bright turquoise track pants and scuffed sneakers for the occasion. That too was an utter surprise but it was not only for me. Rather the postcard (of one of my favorite vintage Vogue covers no less) was addressed, "Hello, Miss, Mister and the Hounds!" Inside were two jars wrapped in crackly gold paper. One contained my friend Jennifer's famous marmalade. She had won a silver medal with it this year and knows how we crave it. In the other she had made jam...for Kipling. It is a long-standing joke between us concerning the time when Mr. Rascal ate the entire bowl of gariguettes, the finest strawberries in the South of France, in mere seconds while we weren't looking. We call him the Strawberry Thief - although based on a recent event that still rankles I may well change his nickname to The Cookie Monster.


On Wednesday afternoon I was invited to go for a walk with C, who lives here in the village. She is an inspiring woman, a single Mom with a full time job and we don't get to see each other very often. But she does read my blog from time to time and had thought of me as there was a corner of the near countryside which I perhaps did not know that might be interesting to photograph. She was right. We headed out at a brisk pace, our voices overlapping in equally rapid exchanges of conversation with me only stopping to wheeze at times due to the falling pollen. "Oh, just last week this entire field was covered with apple blossoms," she said with disappointment as we arrived at our destination. But that was fine, more than fine. There was so much beauty everywhere and she has the eye to see it then point it out. I discovered so much if not necessarily what she had hoped. Afterwards, she invited me back to her spotless kitchen and I watched as she prepared for us a tonic green juice. It gave me strength, literally, as if I were Popeye downing cans of spinach, just as had the pleasure of her fine company.


And so today I am thinking of the power of kindness. These three lovely women did acts that were probably small for them (although I have to add that it cost my Mom a pretty penny to mail that box from the States) but are really big for me. Huge, even. Similarly, I have two internet friends (both male, so as not to imply that thoughtfulness is only an inherent feminine quality) that have been sending out frequent words of encouragement because sometimes an "I believe in you, everything is going to work out," goes a long, long way. With the weekend in front of me, I am wondering what good I can do to pay it forward. But then again, it is probably best not to overthink it too much just as, I imagine, these women didn't either. Life will whisper me the way.



Have a wonderful weekend everyone...


48 comments:

Aunty Belle said...

Is that your new lipstick we see in the photo? Lovely!, kindness multiplies...have a contented weekend.

FlowerLady Lorraine said...

Bless your heart Heather. May you have a lovely day and weekend ~ FlowerLady

Lorrie said...

How lovely to chronicle the kindness of friends and family. So often we forget. Hoping things will soon be brighter for you.
The beauty in your photos is like balm to the soul.

Judith Ross said...

Oh Heather, I hope all is well with you and yours. Have a lovely weekend! xxoo

Heather Robinson said...

Yes! And the eye shadows too! Well spotted! I pretty much never post photos of myself here but figured it was worth an exception in this case. ;)

Heather Robinson said...

Oh thank you so much FlowerLady. I will take that Blessing with gratitude and hope that you also have a wonderful weekend.

Heather Robinson said...

What a lovely thing to say, Lorrie! Thank you and I am glad to hear it. And yes, my Mom was of course quite surprised that I was so touched by what was for her just a normal little treat.

Heather Robinson said...

And to you too Judith!

Karena Albert said...

Heather, receiving gifts like these is so heartfelt and just makes us feel so loved!
It does not have to be much, in fact it can be the smallest of gestures, it is simply so thoughtful!
Thank you for sharing your treasures!

xoxo
Karena
The Arts by Karena
Artist Brad Oliphant

Joan McKniff said...

It was !

RebeccaNYC said...

A box from Mom, a box from home! I am a little misty just thinking about it. It truly is the small things that can make a huge difference. xoxo

(And now I know why Kipling got the strawberry jam!)

Maywyn Studio said...

I am sorry to read rough times are with you. I don't know details, and they aren't necessary. You all are in my thoughts.
Every time I see Ben's face I see such an abundance of love, intelligence, and age that it pulls me back to seeing his photo for the first time. I have to run away from the future I know will be. The blog world is life with all its emotions.

Lisa Southard said...

Beautiful images, as always- the lipstick is a good colour on you, and so neat- I am a complete make up klutz, might as well let the grandchildren put it on for me! Your postman is a character, always good to have a few of those around, and kind people in abundance- you needn't worry at all about when to pay kindness, it is a flexible currency. Wishing you coffers overflowing xxx

mferrie said...

Heather, thank you for sharing your tender and artistic spirit with us. Your words and images are filled with grace. Amities, Jill

Glamour Drops said...

A little gesture, a kind thought, a story of symbols, all wrapped up in that box....How beautiful these parcels are.
Seeing your poppies there is very poignant for me today, as it is Anzac Day here in Australia and also in New Zealand - our memorial day for fallen soldiers - so the poppies too are a little gesture, a kind thought and a story of symbols - a different meaning, but all about the best of human spirit through adversity, so it's the same story as your wonderful parcels really.

Wyn Vogel said...

Heather - you are right - Mums are amazing - Some years ago - I lived in Western Australia (about 5 or 6 hours flying from the East Coast) - for a year and every couple of weeks a little note arrive and sometimes - yes a parcel!! I opened one of these parcels one day to find a moldy square block and some other treasures that looked more alluring - after some consideration - I put the square moldy thing aside and later that night rang my Mum ------ turned out it was cheese she had thoughtfully sent - but even in the few days it took to traverse the heat of the Australian continent - it had acquired it's furry coat!! Just cut it off says my Mum (a chef) which I did with some trepidation and sure enough it was delicious - so they are very precious!! You have reminded me again how special!! thanks!!

Rowan said...

Thank you for your tender and vulnerable post today! I'm glad you had the surprise parcel in the post from your mum! The lipstick suits you!
One of your other readers mentioned the image of the poppy.Seeing it today was quite poignant, as the poppy is used as a symbol for ANZAC day (Australia and New Zealand Army Corps). It is 100 years today since many Australians and New Zealanders lost their lives at the shore of Gallipoli and three years later to the day, defending the town of Villers-Brettoneux. Hearing stories about it on the radio, so many of them were just boys -still teenagers or in their early twenties. Peace is a precious thing and it seems that your friend who took you for a walk, wanted to give you a little beauty and peace!
Wishing you a good week ahead!
Cheers,
Deborah - Melbourne

La Contessa said...

KINDNESS...................it goes along way!
I am thrilled to hear there is another AMERICAN close by to YOU!Hello MADAME C............you are in charge of keeping an eye on OUR HEATHER for ME!I am just too far away.......but I can do a BOX.Especially if I can get the last name on it correctly!!Thats a sad joke for H and me!!!!A MAY DAY BOX will be arriving.................XOXOXO

simpleimages2 said...

“To be so loved and cared for, from so far away…”, your mom misses you and from tears, you miss her too.

“the kindness” that came your way will flow, without you knowing it, to others from your heart.

The meadow so green, so yellow.

Tracy Wood said...

Heather, I know the joy that a package from home brings to my daughter Ginger. I cry when I'm putting it together, and my note is always smudged with my tears and my favourite perfume. I'm in the process of making plum jam, Ginger's favourite, and mine, and although it costs a fortune to send it to her, I will. As always my thoughts are with you and your dear boys, and believe me when I say I know what difficult times are too. Stay strong my dear.
With love, xxTracy.

Loree said...

Dear Heather, hope all is well and that things start to look up for you soon. Receiving surprise little packages by mail just has to be one of life's biggest joys.

Sandy said...

Dear Heather, What a touching post. My daughter lives far away also. There are days I wish I could be near her to just wrap my rms around her and tell her it will be OK.

Laura said...

Thoughtful gestures, like the package from your Mom, are always welcome & wonderful. Hope you had a nice weekend Heather, and best thoughts for you this week!

Heather Robinson said...

I nearly shared a photo of all of the makeup goodies that my Mom sent but figured you all could use your imagination on that one. :) And yes, the size of the gift has nothing to do with it...

Heather Robinson said...

The Rascal!

Heather Robinson said...

It most certainly is. The Boys are such a joy to me...

Heather Robinson said...

Thank you, Lisa. Just reading all of the comments here and emails I have been receiving should do the trick. ;)
If you lived closer, I would suggest that we do an exchange - makeup lessons (I love makeup from my acting days) in exchange for some basic, basic, basic tae kwon do moves??

Heather Robinson said...

That is so lovely of you to say Jill. Merci beaucoup...!

Heather Robinson said...

Virginia, this left me speechless. Yes, you are so right. I wish that we had a similar symbol for our fallen in the States and France...

Heather Robinson said...

I loved this story Wyn of your furry cheese! I know that one of Remi's relatives during the War would keep the furry part too as it was full of penecillin...

Heather Robinson said...

Deb, that is Virginia who wrote that. She is a brilliant and very successful interior architect and an all around lovely person. Her blog is fascinating. You two would get along!

Heather Robinson said...

PS. And she is also in Melbourne!

Heather Robinson said...

Oh my goodness, No! You have done more for me than I can every thank you for already my wonderful friend. No need! You most certainly have enough on your plate as it is right now!!! We need to get caught up this week, please.

Heather Robinson said...

Isn't that meadow just beautiful? It really is an exceptionally pretty Spring here this year. But I never would have seen that photo if it wasn't for my walk with C.

Heather Robinson said...

Thank you Tracy, just reading this made me tear up! I know what a good Mum you are and how much you love your family. It is beautiful to see...

Heather Robinson said...

It is! I feel really blessed to have been thought of so kindly.

Heather Robinson said...

Oh how I know that feeling in reverse so well! I am sorry that you are far from your daughter, Sandy. I bet she is too. That is just how our modern life works so often these days...

Heather Robinson said...

Thank you so much Laura...and to you!

I Dream Of said...

Heather, Can you please add me to your "I believe in you" list? I really, really do believe. Because your act of kindness comes from your beautiful words. It's gray, it's Monday, time seems to be particularly slippery right now - a beast that I just cannot wrangle no matter how hard I try. I woke up feeling out of sorts. But your lovely and magical words whisked me away to another place as they always do and more importantly brought me out of myself. Such a gift you have. And so I believe, believe, believe... in you. And that things are already working out - we perhaps just don't know it yet! XOXO and more XOXO

PS: Kipling!

Gustia said...

Isn't it fun to get stuff in the mail? I know I love it all the more so these days because it's so rare. The fact that it cheered you up is a big bonus. I hope Kipling likes his jam. ;)

Heather Robinson said...

Jeanne, you are such a good egg and I hope you are right. I am so grateful that we somehow found each other and have been able to be each others rahrah girls ever since. Because you know that goes ditto for me!! You are amazing!!!

And yep, Kipling. Thank you.

Heather Robinson said...

We haven't given him his taste yet! Although we inaugurated the marmalade on Sunday Morning and whooeee is it incredible! We did a degustation! "Now there are brighter notes following...is that something a bit peppery?" I think you would have been pleased and thank youuuuu again!

And yes, Kipling will get a bit of his jam. I promise. *big sigh*

La Contessa said...

How about Tomorrow........Ellie should get her envelope by noon they told me!FIngers and toes crossed!

Lisa Southard said...

Lol, offer accepted :-)

emilia tremante said...

Lovely , great woman you are and you always will be my dear Heather! You may be lost in Arles but you are a lighthouse for me! Please don't lose your beatiful light! Big hugs! Bisous

Heather Robinson said...

Grazie mille Emilia!! Such a lovely thing to say and I appreciate it so very much...Big Hugs right back to you...

Unknown said...

Henry and Bob have become the Boys to me too. Heather, I am so sorry that you have been having a tough time, and I hope that things have improved since you wrote this post. Seeing your beautiful face with Kipling (? / Ben) is such a treat...it provides a visual of your rich soul. I will be thinking of you, à tout coeur, hoping for better and better, Leslie in Oregon

Heather Robinson said...

Yes, that is Kipling, Leslie. :) Thank you so very much for your kind wishes, they are truly appreciated!