random acts of kindness at nautilus teachings

it is early morning
i pull into the near empty
parking lot
the sky is just starting
to turn brilliant blue
yet there are still
ribbons of bright pink
laced across the expanse
of awakening sky…
i pull into a spot
close to the door
shift my car into park
and take a deep breath…
i have arrived
to another school
filled with so many new faces
happy faces
with a few
‘i don’t want to paint faces’
mixed in…
i smile
breathe again
and begin peeling my
nearly white knuckles
from the steering wheel
my head is pounding
i have a red stress dot
upon my left cheek bone
another breath
and then the knowledge
‘i made it safely here…
thank you God.’
for me it is not the journey
i enjoy
but the arrival!
when i leave home at 6:15
the cars on the road in
my sleepy beach town
buzz by me like they
are on fire…
just Friday
a pick up truck came up
behind me
rode my butt
instead of going around me
the whole way through town
i was going 40
and that was fast enough
for me
the other lane was clear
but for some reason
he decided to ride my tail
when i hit patrick
i pumped the pedal up to 65
giving a quick distance between he and i
then, he puts on his brights
speeds up and again
tails me until he turns into

i settle myself,
as this agitated me
quite a bit
turned onto Pineda
then onto 95S…
i stayed in the right hand lane
go the speed limit
and clutch the wheel
those 10 miles to my exit
cars speeding by me
trucks getting a wee bit to close
for my comfort…
i really hate driving
any distance,
so this morning
when i pull into the empty lot
i was happy.
i pulled out my Bible
read the days devotion
read some scripture
sipped my tea
popped two motrin
for my headache
and settled
watching the kids being dropped off
waiting for 7:30 to strike
so i could load up my wagon
put on my
‘miss sheri’ apron
and go inside.
today i needed a hug
i was still shaking from
the maniac on the road
in cocoa beach.
as i approached the door
a young man who looks like he’s around 7
opens the door for me
and says,
‘good morning’
i smile
say, ‘good morning and thank you …’
as i head to the office and open that door
i am greeted with the most
radiant smile from behind the desk
‘good morning, you must be Sheri from VSA!
we are expecting you…’
this has only happened one
other time in the last two weeks
usually they have no idea who i am
even the teachers are surprised to
see me,
‘oh, was to day the day?
i did not know you were coming!’
to name a few

i get checked in and wait for
the teacher to come escort me
back to her classroom
which is also rare
usually i am given a cryptic, blurry map
the classroom is circled
and i venture out
trying to find it
and a bathroom!
today is just different
it’s good.
there is kindness everywhere
it’s as if God was just
hugging me
through all these
amazing people.
as i wait a young girl-maybe 6
comes through the doors and
is crying.
the smiling secretary
rushes over
hugs her
quietly says,
‘wait right here…’
the secretary quickly pops out the door
and comes immediately back in
with young man around 10
then she says,
‘william, lisa is having a hard start
to her day. she forgot her homework
at home and she is upset.
will you please help her…’
william does exactly that
he sits with her
quietly talks to her
listens and within
a few minutes they are both
i look at the secretary
and she says,
‘starting in 4th grade we begin training the kids
to help other children in distress.
they are assigned different days to sit
out side the office before school
in case they are needed
for situations like this…’
double WOW.
i have only been in the office for 10 minutes
when a little girl comes up
to the secretary and hands her two
home made thank you cards…
‘this one is for the PTO/PTA
and this one is for the Superintendent of schools…’
this is all part of the random acts of kindness project
which is the theme this year in the school and VSA.
my bear hug from God is getting longer and longer
and part of me wants to just sit here and
watch everything transpire throughout the day…
‘miss Sheri?”
i turn and the host teacher for this school
is smiling
hand extended
‘good morning , follow me’ she says
my day has begun
the while knuckles
and crazy drivers of an hour ago
have already left my soul
i am calm and ready to get
my paint on…