Why she would give you the shoes off her feet: A true story.
One of the neighbors we visit each week with food lives at the top of a hill with a road our van can't drive. I hike the food up there. Last Friday, I had my sweet alegría work slippers on when I made this hike. So cute with hearts stamped all over them, the kind of shoe my 7-year-old daughter would love to wear.
I was feeling pretty strong and helpful in my slippers, delivery bag slung across my back, as I huffed up the hill. I left the food in the agreed spot and started picking my way down the gravel road, rocks rolling ahead of me as I stepped. As I made my way down, I was deep in heady thoughts about how all this charitable giving is a benefit to my heart, backside, and bank account. (What about the person-at-the-top-of-the-hill's heart?).
I was walking with tiny baby steps, when my sweet little slippers swept me right off my feet as if we were in some romance novel. They dropped my me on my backside. Uf. Damn shoes. I crept the remainder of the way down laughing at the way the universe is a trickster. 'Buns of steel still bruise, girl.'
At our next stop, a cheerful man is often out waiting for me by the road. I met him at the back of the van where he was excitedly telling me about his latest jewelry collection finds, some watch parts and pearls rattled around in the box as he tipped it open to share a little beauty. I pulled his delivery bags out as he pointed out watch brands and stones. When I turned to give his bags, he spotted my damn slippers.
In a squeal of delight he said, "Your shoes! Babe, look at these shoes! Can I have those shoes for my wife?"
Yes, you can have these shoes. I took them off my feet and he tried to recant. "No I was not serious. I can't take your shoes off your feet."
Yes, you can. Should I warn him they might get swept up in a romance about sharing things, all that means, and land on their backsides? He went and got a pair of his shoes as a return gift and we swapped. I could hear the universe laughing in delight at our antics, and I laughed too. I suspect this man was well aware that being kind was no guarantee against falling down.
Those alegria slippers. They mean joy. To be found in the most unexpected ways, including by giving them away.