The 2018 Lilac Festival is history, but I’m still reflecting on the time I spent there with my daughter and granddaughter on Mother’s Day. This year’s festival was one of the best – great weather, flowers blooming on time, new features for children. But what I keep coming back to is the kindness of strangers.
First, there was the woman who offered to take our picture when she saw that we were trying to take a selfie by the pansy bed. This is not so unusual in itself. People do that all the time, but it set the tone for the whole day.
The second kindness happened near the stage. We were trying to eat our snacks while standing and listening to the music when a kind man dragged three chairs over, opened them up, and ordered us to sit. We did.
The third act of kindness was my favorite. Five-year-old Molly loved the new play area at this year’s festival, and so did I. It’s made with lots of logs and natural materials. Molly would have spent all day there. At one point she challenged me to walk behind her on a narrow log. Now, I’m not know for my ability to balance, but there was a rope railing so I thought I’d be okay. Except that the railing didn’t go all the way to the end so there was about eight feet that I had to balance on my own. For a fleet second I thought about turning back, but there were too many kids behind. But, in that instant, a man carrying a baby in one arm came out of nowhere and extended his other hand to me without saying a word. I took it and walked safely to the end of the log. Then he disappeared into the crowd. I don’t know if he even heard me say thank you.
What I like most about all these acts of kindness is that they were unsolicited. We never asked for help.
This year’s Lilac Festival was definitely one for the books.