Dangerous Compassions


“Can I give you these pears?” I asked the elder lady who cleans the house across the street.  I was holding four pears from our house’s backyard trees.

“Sure–I can leave them on the counter,” she said, about to close the front door.  I’d already seen her put her cleaning stuff in her car.  She dumped the mop bucket in the gutter.

“No–they’re for you!” I said.

“Oh!  For me?” she asked, surprised.  “Thank you!”

“Sure!” I said.  “I live across the street, and we have these pear trees.  We have way more than we can eat.”

“I love fruit!  But it’s so expensive, I don’t buy it,” she said.

She put more cleaning supplies into her trunk.


“They aren’t quite ripe–in a day or two, they should be ready,” I said.

I put the four pears into her hands, which she held open like she was receiving the most valuable treasure.

“How will I know when they’re ripe?” she asked.

“They’ll be a little softer than this,” I said.

“I’m so excited to eat them, I don’t know if I can wait!” she said.


I almost cried and walked back across the street, to this beautiful home.  Wow, some fruit can be so much.  A gift, noticing someone, wanting to share.  I felt honored I could give her something she needed.

The trees have been growing for a long time.  I’m happy to honor the people who planted those trees and tended them all these years.  Yes, this is how we show our love.

Then I saw a man on the south porch holding a baby.  Wow, a thin white guy was holding a large baby in his arms.  The kind of baby who is about to walk, on that cusp of toddlerhood.

The baby looked at me with their own skeptical, curious intelligence, as I talked to the dad.  These people were from Finland.  The baby’s mom was visiting our house–she lived here a long time ago.  This dad was just relaxing with the kid.

I asked about Finland.

“I’ve had a lot of penpals there,” I explained.  “Ladies in Finland love penpalling.”

He explained about how things are now, that relations with Russia are at an all time low, buying alcohol in Estonia.


Then the lady arrived who lived in our house before, who was the mom of the baby.  She had been walking with my housemate.  The dad of the baby thought I wanted to meet her and talk to her.

But no–I was out of there.  I said, “Nice meeting you!” and fled.

Then other wonderful things happened.  I’d made an error on a long application, and the person reading the application happened to be a friend.  Small town.  She txted me to ask if I had meant 2022 or 2023 in the answer to a question, and she fixed my mistake.  I felt loved and lucky.

Not saying karma is instant, but it feels good to be kind to people and receive kindness also.  Probably you have enjoyed the same, dear reader.


I was looking for a picture of pears that I took, looking up into a backyard pear tree.  But I couldn’t find it.  Instead I share with you this art I made.


my kilt is my favorite article of clothing today
Sept 2023
Laura-Marie Cumulonimbus Nopales
ballpoint pen, sharpie, water colors on reclaimed product packaging cardstock

By Laura-Marie

Good at listening to the noise until it makes sense.

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