Life is full of charming and also poignant moments. Yesterday for example I was buying a few vegetables at my local Asian supermarket, a ramshackle and unkempt affair bustling with Thai, Korean, Chinese and Polynesian people jostling over bargains and loose pallets of apples, mandarins, grapes, fresh coconuts from the Pacific islands. I managed to add a last enormous bunch of perfect and cheap bananas to my basket then queued up at the checkout. Behind me an Indian lady was wrestling with armfuls of groceries and dropping first a bag of apples then her money, then a whole bag of Chinese gooseberries fell to the floor. They burst from their bag and spilt across the aisle like golden marbles and several of us began to help the poor lady recover them. To reassure the lady that all was well I said to her ‘Where are you from?’ She said ‘My name is Farina and I have just come from India.’ Then she asked me if there were any more bananas in this place, they were her favorite fruit, but I said there were not.
Outside in the street I saw Farina waiting for a bus and she called out to thank me for helping her. Referring to the spilt fruit she said ‘I have had a bad day. I arrived here to find my husband has left me and I know nobody. I am frightened for the future and I keep dropping everything.’ Then she began to cry. I felt sad and we sat there for a while. I said to her ‘Farina it is not really a bad day. I want you to have my bananas too, just to prove it.’ I was remembering what Sri Chinmoy once said, that anything worth having is worth sharing as well. Farina started to laugh, and I put the bananas in her bag. I told her, ‘Endings are also beginnings – today is a great day that you will remember.’
Then another lady who had been at the checkout came and began talking to Farina. I said goodbye and told her, if you get into trouble you can call me. The bus stop was adjacent to the front entrance of the Sri Chinmoy Centre and I lifted up the grill and went inside. Next morning when I went out, there inside the grill was a large bunch of bananas and a note from Farina that simply said ‘Since yesterday, so much kindness everywhere – thank you for helping in my new beginning.’
The more we pause to reflect and look behind the veil of appearance and seeming in life, the more we see God’s little game unfolding and how touching and marvelous everything really is.