[Editor’s note: Part 1 of this story appeared on yesterday’s blog.]
A waitress, Rose was on her name tag, said, “How did you know?”
“How did I know what?” I asked. Her hands shook as she accepted the little mason jar full of buttons. I purchased them at a yard sale a week before with a handful of change. All I had on me at the time.
“This is just like a jar of buttons my grandmother had when I was a kid. I use to dump them out on her kitchen table and count them. Stack them in similar colors. Thread string through them in a long chain. Make up stories about them.” She had clutched the jar to her apron. “I have been thinking about her. I miss her sometimes until it hurts. She raised me.” I just smiled and touched her hand briefly.
The thing is I don’t know about these trinkets. I don’t ever know. I had no answers for her. Why I was drawn to that jar of buttons? Why am I drawn to any trinket I find?
I patted her hand one last time and told her to enjoy them. I left her standing in the middle of the cafe as I hiked my backpack high on my shoulder and swung out the door. Much later that night I realized I never paid for my coffee and pie. Perhaps she thought that was a fair trade.
This is how it always happens. And it is really that simple. I can’t take requests, please don’t ask. It does not work that way. I don’t want the focus on me or my part anyway. I am just delivering what I have been given. I usually hot foot it out the door as soon as I can.
I keep thinking there have to be others like me. The universe would not have hired just one of me. The hungry raw need for people to be connected to something deeper than themselves is massive. My life long efforts can only be a very small drop in the vastness of humanity. I hang on to the hope that someday I will meet another Giver of Trinkets. But so far I am the Lone Ranger without a white horse or sidekick. In the meantime, I delight in the variety of items I find and the waiting for the inspiration for who they belong to.
If by chance you are a Giver of Trinkets, let me know. It would be wonderful to think there are many of us out in the world, doing these small little deeds that make someone’s life a bit better. But until that time I will keep receiving and giving Trinkets as I have always done.
With love and light, Anna O’Keefe