Life is beautiful - a reminder
I was browsing the shelves of a bookshop a couple of weeks ago (the friend I was due to meet, a wonderful guy who's been connecting and supporting people in the local area for years, had been held up - and I had a few minutes to spare).First, my eyes fell on a beautiful card with vibrant pink cherry blossom on it. I picked it up, intuitively knowing that it was for me. Then a few steps later, a fridge magnet inscribed with some words from French essayist Marcel Proust caught my eye: ''Let us be grateful to people who make us happy; they are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom".What surprised me was that I'd never seen this quote before, despite its being so beautiful and so poignant. And the two - the card and fridge magnet - quite clearly went together (see pic above), so I found myself digging into my purse and buying them both.I shared them with my friend, who, it occurred to me, had been a 'soul gardener' for many people for much of his life, when we sat down for our coffee a few minutes later.Funny thing was, despite me never having seen that quote before, it turned up again a few days later in an email. And with it, the enchanting story of Johnny Barnes - a soul gardener of sorts himself - this time from Bermuda. This sparkly-eyed man of, I guess, around 80, turns up from 4 o'clock every morning, on the same stretch of road, to wave hello to the thousands of people that go by each morning, wishing them well and singing out, 'I love you!' Johnny's particular brand of soul gardening makes such a difference to so many people that, anticipating the day he will no longer be there to give his delightful message, a local sculptor has erected a statue at the spot where he stands, to remind people of his message - essentially, as one of the commentators in this short film about him puts it, of 'brotherly love'. Why does he do this? 'I like to tell them that, whatever happens, life is sweet; life is beautiful'. An attitude like that is, in my eyes, the mark of a true soul gardener.I posted the two - the cherry blossom card and the magnet - on my fridge door as a reminder of the synchronicities that had happened around this little story. And, bumping into my soul gardener friend by chance again today, I thought, perhaps it was a beautiful enough story to share with you!Does anyone water the windowboxes of your soul? I'd love to hear!