I was walking up the rather steep hill at the top of our street this evening. Ahead of me a young woman was pushing a stroller. Her little girl was running beside her and she had a dachshund on a leash. As I walked slower up the hill, the little girl had run up to the top of a brick wall. She saw me and begin to wave so I waved back.
Her mother put the dog in the stroller and as I walked up to her, I said hello and we begin to chat. The little girl, whose name turned out to be Josie, begin to pick clover and hand the blossoms to me. I asked her mother how old she was and she said she’d be four in July. I thought of my daughter, who had been diagnosed with cancer right before her fourth birthday so long ago. On impulse I told her mother about my daughter.
Turns out she works for a children’s medical center and so was quite familiar with childhood cancers. Her mother had been diagnosed with breast cancer about 15 years ago and that is how she became interested in working with cancer patients.
While little Josie ran around the yard gathering clover for me, I told her that I had become a writer after losing my child and husband and that I might have to write an essay about meeting her when I got home.
I told her about Peter in Bigger Than The Sky and she said it was really hard to remember to stay in the moment when you were raising children. She has a six-month old baby boy, too. I shared with her what Leonard Cohen says about everyone living on the front line of their own life. She nodded in understanding.
I felt like I was meant to encounter the child at play this evening. Such a lovely little thing she is. A mane of light hair and a heart-shaped face, so happy to be outdoors on a May evening.
May all beings be happy. May all beings be at peace. I don’t remember the rest of the vow, but I will post the photo of my buddha with the clover she brought me.