There’s a knack to being kind and not everyone has it. Even among spouses subtle rifts develop. Kindness for these couples is sporadic, temporary, flighty. Scowls surface. Tones taunt. Focus wanders. No real surprise there. The surprise comes when you see an unfiltered and constant (but not sugar-coated) gentleness between couples. Should come naturally or at least be something we strive for but it is rare.
John and Carol arrived last week for a few days in the redwoods (part of a sprawling west coast vacation) and settled in immediately. Trails were discussed. As were trees. As was the river. As was weather. Dinner was discussed. As was tea. As was wine. Nothing unusual there. But there was something unusual about this couple. Over maps and guidebooks I laid out possibilities, mostly to John. Then it was John who boiled down the options and brought Carol into the agenda. And off they would go – to the groves, to the river, sometimes just to their little nook of the deck. Always immersed in conversation, they never lacked for words, never wavered in their focus on each other. This was the MO I saw and was struck by –- a kindness so rare I’d forgotten it even existed.