Oil painting by Jan Kasparac (pinterest)
Today would be my brother’s 58th birthday if he was still living. He was 10 years older than me, which makes me about 30. I never was good at math! I was thinking about him and how he a friend to people of all ages and always had a smile to share. The following is a fictional story, but I could easily see Nelson doing everything in this story. He modeled kindness and definitely had the gift of humor. I was so blessed to have had him as a dear brother! There are some true parts to this story. He did live in Costa Rica for 3 months, he learned how to open coconuts, though I don’t think he ever got hit on the head by one, he did own a ferret, he loved music and he did have a lot of trouble with the Spanish language! But sometimes you really don’t need to know the language.
Nelson was walking through the jungle of Costa Rica amazed by the beauty of the wildlife and just soaking in the moment as he enjoyed a leisurely stroll. He was lost in thought when “Klunk!” he was hit by a coconut in the head. It stunned him for a little and he looked up to see where it had came from, but all he saw were the leaves of the tree. Then another one landed right beside him. He looked up again and saw the tail of a monkey jumping to another branch of the tree. This time he saw the coconut coming and he quickly moved out of the way. He looked up again and this time saw 3 monkey faces peering down at him and sounding like they were laughing at him as they chattered away.
Photo credit to Richard Heathcote from Pinterest
He laughed as he walked along, animals could be funny indeed. Perhaps it would be fun to have a pet monkey, he had a ferret before, why not have another unusual pet.
Hearing the sound of rushing water distracted him from his thoughts about monkeys as he quickened his pace. He was feeling hot and was hoping to be able to cool off in the water.
Oh this really was a tropical paradise! The waterfall was beautiful! He didn’t waste any time at all of taking off his shoes and wading into the river. The water was cool, but it felt so refreshing. He heard the sound of boys laughing and he saw 2 little boys running towards the river. They stopped at the edge when they saw Nelson. He smiled at them and motioned them to come in. It wasn’t long until they joined him and soon they were engaged in a big splash battle.
After being soaked Nelson decided he would take a break and lie down in the grass, letting the sun beat down on him. He waved goodbye to his 2 young friends and stepped out of the water.
Nelson dug into his backpack for the food he packed. He pulled out 2 big cookies and he walked back down to the water waving at the boys. They came over to him and soon big smiles spread across their faces when they saw the big cookies in his hand. He gave them each one and they all sat down on the grass as they ate. After eating the boys waved bye and headed back into the jungle.
Nelson stretched out in the sun feeling drowsy. It didn’t take long before he dozed off. He slept so soundly that he never noticed the monkey that jumped from the tree right next to him and helped himself to a little present, as he scurried back into the tree.
Nelson woke up and stretched, feeling good and ready to walk again. He looked beside him and got a curious look on his face as he looked on the other side of him. Well that is strange, where did his hat go? He was sure he had laid it right beside him before he dozed off. He stood up and walked around in a big circle, the hat was nowhere in sight! Then he heard some chattering coming from the trees above him causing him to look up.
Well the missing hat mystery was solved! The monkeys were fighting over it! Nelson shook his head, the monkeys sure were having a fun time with him today. Monkeys – 2 (coconuts and hat) Nelson-0! Perhaps he should rethink about having a monkey as a pet.
He heard drumbeats in the distance and he followed the sound to a old temple. There was a small group gathered inside the temple and when they saw him they motioned him to come in. There were other instruments too and Nelson soon was caught up in the rhythm of the lively beat.
He couldn’t speak their language very well, but smiles and music was a language understood by all. After spending awhile there listening to different songs and even taking a try at the drums he realized that he needed to leave soon, for one didn’t want to to be in the jungle after dark. He shook their hands and bid them farewell. The sound of the drums slowly grew fainter as he walked away but he carried the music in his heart.
As he was walking he thought about his day. He realized again the power behind smiles and handshakes. How hearts can be warmed through shared laughter and how no matter the language you speak, the appreciation of music can be enjoyed by all.
In this world of so many different languages, there is a language that can be spoken with no words at all. The language of kindness.