Tenderness

On our way home

It’s one of my favorite qualities, especially when least expected.

Our dog Jubi and I were finishing a mid-day walk. The white cotton ball on four legs, as someone once called Jubi, was trotting expectantly toward home and lunch, when I caught sight of an elderly gentleman coming toward us. He was making his way slowly and deliberately down the sidewalk supporting his frail frame on a cane. I had never seen him before and would probably have passed by with a “hello.” But as we approached and the man saw Jubi, he paused, eyes brightening. “Oooooh!” he exclaimed and tried haltingly to bend over and touch her. Seeing his difficulty in moving, I scooped up Jubi and held her close to him. He extended a thin hand and stroked her gently. Then leaning on his cane he stretched his neck forward to feel Jubi’s face against his. Responding with licks of affection toward this stranger, her ‘kisses’ evoked peals of laughter from him. Looking into her eyes, he breathed aloud, “God bless you!”

Blessed indeed! That’s how I felt too as we introduced ourselves, shook hands and bid each other farewell. The pure delight and joy in my new friend’s face as he felt Jubi’s tender kisses made my own heart soar. Yes, we’re all blessed by these expressions of tenderness that open our hearts and unify the human (and animal) family. I resolved then and there to look for more expressions of tenderness in my day…it feels so good!