Tag: caring

The Friday File: Incense & Inspiration

incense sticks

I must say my experiences with lesson learning and meeting some amazing souls continues to occur.  For example, this morning I had such an incredible chat with one of these profound people that I literally could not wait to get home and write a post about it!

There is an older gentleman who, on occasion, sets up a wee box by our local train station.  On display are various boxes of incense; you know, the fragrant sticks that permeate the air with scents of patchouli, sandalwood, and cedar.  He isn’t always there; however, this morning I caught a waft of sandalwood in the air and knew he was close by.  I thought to myself, should I just keep walking as I usually do, or should I stop and say hello.  Oh, I wanted to mention that last summer he saw me wearing a purple shirt (my favorite color) and he said, “Everyone is wearing purple today.”  “Are they?” was my reply.  “Yes they are, and I don’t know why,” was the gentleman’s response.  He continued:  “Purple is a very spiritual color; people born in October are said to be very spiritual.”  My curiosity was peaked.  I told him my birthday is in October; he told me his is too.  “My birthday is October 28th,” he commented.  “Well that’s a coincidence, so is mine!” was my response.

Now, back to this morning; (or should I say, ‘but I digress?’)  now, with this information, I approached the incense man and said, “Your birthday is October 28th!”  I think it quite startled him, and after a few seconds of silence he replied, “That’s right, how did you know that?”  I reminded him of our conversation last year which made him smile.  Wearing a bright yellow crocheted hat against his greying hair, I felt compelled to chat more with my birthday friend.

He told me his name was, “Ankh, like the Egyptian symbol.”  Ankh sat with his back pressed up against a wall, eyes squinting as he tried to avoid the direct sunlight beaming down onto his weathered, wise face.


Ankh shared with me he prefers to live outside, although he felt it might be a good idea to find somewhere warm in case he had the ‘need’ to go inside for a while.  He mentioned there is a female friend of his who has some physical challenges.  He assists her by cleaning, fixing, and repairing things around her apartment; and yet, expects nothing in return.  What he said next quite surprised me, I must say.  Ankh noted he was all too aware this woman was taking advantage of his kindness, but realized it was his choice just like everything in his life.

I commended him for his thoughtfulness, but I felt it wasn’t fair of this person to take him for granted.  He smiled, and told me that everyone does everything for a reason, including this woman.  Even though he didn’t know her reason for taking liberties with his thoughtfulness, he figured she needed the help more than he needed to know the, ‘why’.

Ankh went on to describe his belief in getting what you need when you need it.  Simple philosophy of life.  He told me he didn’t need much, but when he does, it shows up.  “The Universe always gives me what I want, but only when it’s the right time,” Ankh remarked.  Ankh remembered that a few months ago he needed a certain amount of money for something.  “That very next day, I was minding my own business, when this man came up to me and pressed something tightly into my hand.”  Ankh continued:  “And you know what? It was sixty-five dollars!” “Right out of nowhere this man gave me sixty-five dollars!” “I knew it was a lot ’cause I looked down at my hand and I could see a two-zero on one of the bills sticking out of my palm.”

Practice Kindness

I reached into my purse; I could only find two one-dollar bills.  “Ankh, it’s not much, but please take it,” I said quietly.  He told me I didn’t have to do that; he eyes immediately gazed towards the incense boxes sitting beside him, and he motioned for me to take one.  I replied with a thank you, but that wasn’t necessary.  I’m going to try not to tear up (again!) while I share with you this next part.  Ankh:  “Thank you; I will have a gift for you next time I see you, maybe just before our birthdays.”  “I don’t know what it will be, but I know the Universe will make it show up so I can give it to you.”

What on earth do you say to kindness like that?  As cliche as it sounds, and I’ve been known to be the queen of cliche, but truly I was speechless.  Ankh got up from his spot, and I asked him where he was going.  “Oh, see that phone store?” The nice lady in there lets me charge my phone.”  “It’s a cheap phone, but I like having it in case I need to call my friends.”  Ankh continued:  “She has a charger that she let’s me use, so I don’t need to worry about losing it or someone stealing it from me.”

I told Ankh to have a wonderful day, and that I’d be back to check in on him soon.  He said that would be fine, and that we can wish each other a Happy Birthday in October.  I most certainly shall do that, Ankh; with pleasure.

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