small kindnesses

This story has been waiting for a little while to be written. There have been reasons to write it earlier but I’ve kept putting it off. Just now though, another reason has appeared. So I’m prompted to share a few words about some ‘small kindnesses’ recently shared with me.

A few minutes ago, I realised it was probably lunchtime. I was hungry but didn’t feel like cooking. This is often true when I’m living alone. I do eat well enough but meals are simple. Anyway, I had just decided to do something with leftover rice when the doorbell rang. It was my nearby neighbour with a plate of Pita Zeljanica that his wife had prepared. This has happened before – plates of food delivered to my door. This time it was mid-snowfall and much appreciated. Last week I made them a cake as a ‘thank you’.

Another time that I was prompted to write this story was last week when I took the bus to town. It was a new driver from the regular one and when I gave him money for the ticket, he asked (in Bosnian, of course), “How are you? Are you well?). Now, I don’t know about other countries, but in my home country of Australia this doesn’t happen. Bus drivers do not greet passengers. That I recall …

Small kindnesses happen often here, in my experience. Where I am now is in Bosnia. It’s probably an unusual place for me to be. I’m not from here but somehow it feels familiar.

It’s not a wealthy country and in many ways it is still damaged from the war so many years ago. Buildings are still scarred by bullets and missiles. The houses either side of mine are unfinished and have been left abandoned since that time. Damage that is both physical and emotional remains.

But what I find, so often, is that people are friendly and generous. I find kindness and warm hearts. So that even though I’m not from here, I feel welcome and that I do belong here. For at least some time each year …

My Bosnian View, January 13, 2023

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