The Gift of Kindness
In this season of cultures celebrating a shift from dark to light, special foods, and the magic of giving, I am reminded of simple gifts we can share.
We recently visited a popular nature preserve where cars wait in line for a spot in the main parking lot, the only one featuring a bathroom. The lot was full, so I pulled off to one side with flashers on so my husband could take our severely autistic son to the bathroom, planning to then drive to a farther parking area.
A man in a pickup truck called out and asked if we wanted his parking spot.
“Your son looks like he might be having a hard time,” he said, explaining his offer.
He’d seen our son walking with a stern face, hunched shoulders, and gripping my husband’s arm. This is normal mode for Sean, but appeared to the man as being in distress. He wanted to make things easier.
As I profusely thanked him for his kind offer, but said we were happy to find another spot, another driver waved to me saying they were leaving and that we could have their spot. I often feel tears well when people reach out in recognition that our family has extra challenges, though we plod along doing our best not to attract attention.
Simple acts of good will reverberate and expand, and require no greater resources than a positive spirit and small actions.
May we all have the good fortune to receive simple kindnesses, and to offer them.
This week’s Hike Notes, Baylands Nature Preserve, leads readers on a flat, easy walk along the water and marshes of Palo Alto’s photogenic nature preserve.
Click Insights/Hike Update News for inspiring reflections. Browse hikes on the main Hikes page or on the Hike Search by Area (was Quick View Hike List) page. Click World Walks to see or share favorite family-friendly walks! Stay in touch with Lisa Louis and HikingAutism via Contact. The Links page lists a loose collection of helpful information links.
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Hike Notes 173: Baylands Nature Preserve
Sharing insights and hiking highlights (Hikes, Hike Search by Area) from the special needs caregiver front in San Francisco.