Yesterday I was late for my visit with Auntie Hope because our car wouldn't start. By the time I arrived at the retirement centre, I had only 45 minutes to spend with Auntie before her lunchtime.
She was sitting outside on the stoep when I arrived. I joined her, and we just sat and watched the birds. There was silence for most of our visit; conversation didn't flow as easily at it usually does (have you noticed that elderly people don't seem to be as bothered by silence as the younger generations?).
When Auntie Hope finally spoke, she said something interesting: "You know, these two trees in my garden - they're small and have nothing to offer, yet you will rarely find them without a bird perched in them. I don't know why the birds bother to spend time in these trees. There must be bigger trees around here somewhere."
I answered her by suggesting that perhaps - by the simple act of standing there and being available - the trees did indeed have something to offer the birds.
People aren't much different from those trees, are they? We compare ourselves to others, think we have nothing to offer, and yet - maybe by the simple act of standing where we are and being available - we can make a difference in someone's life. Maybe the simple act of sitting with Auntie Hope in silence for 45 minutes was enough for that day, though it felt like so little. Maybe...
straggly trees have just as much to offer as giant trees.