I was on foot on my way back from home viewing mission in the evening one day when the day already turned dark at 6 pm. I was warned of a few sketchy blocks I would just have to go straight right back to get myself to a bus back to where I came from. It was Grand Avenue in Oakland that has quite shiny street lights turned on all the way of its sidewalk. The Oakland is one of the United States of America’s cities most maintained racial tension and high crime rate. It was not just me walking alone on that path – I at some point realized of more appreciation to life at the moment having seen some people walking on their own way and some were in group of two or four.

I did not pay much attention on a woman on the sidewalk when I was from the distance until I got closer to her on my sight. She was a black American. She looked like a mother or an aunt in her forty something. She seemed to get lost finding her way to somewhere. She seemed awkward trying to say something that no one who were people sitting and enjoyed chatting to one another on a cozy coffee shop tables on that sidewalk had paid any attention to her yet. She was on the light out of that crowd. She looked small and seemed like a peaceful woman but sadly looked as I was about to passing on her way on my rush speed.

We made our first eyes contact. The woman then started to tell me something with a strong accent that I tried to catch the whole thing but the key was “FOOD” and “SUB WAY” indicating where to find it just right in front of us. She was nervous while speaking with me and looking at me. She got me so angry and I could not stand it. I looked back at her and said yes – why not and followed her steps into Sub Way fast food shop. My mind was thundering. Yes – why not. Food is what we all are granted and we should be served as loved and sacred foods to make us healthy life physically and spiritually.

An order-taker lady at Sub Way served us greeting and smile. The woman was the one who was hungry and she knew it. She asked me what she should get. I really couldn’t think of anything so I just told her you chose it. She asked me again what size of food she should get. I truly felt blank of any idea so I just told her you chose it.

The order-taker lady looked at me and asked me what I would like to order. I was a bit confused with her question and so I said you can ask the woman. The lady nodded her head and printed out the food bill and handed it to me. I just wanted to leave Sub Way soonest as I was on rush. I was waving my hand as saying goodbye to the woman and telling her to have a nice dinner and good night. The woman slowed my pace down for a beautiful moment of deepest kind and strength she offered me. Thank you honey – that was it.

It was not a word itself from the woman that I have received thankfulness to add in my heart and soul.  It was her deepest strength and most humbleness shined on her eyes with the power of gentle thankfulness. I continued to be on my way with uncountable thanks.

One week after, it was the week of Thanksgiving. I was warmly invited to join lovingly treated potluck food party with friends at my friend’ s house. There was more food I brought back with me after all. That is Thanksgiving – the friends of mine confirm.

In an honor of the woman/women reminding me the beauty and strength of thanks that nurture lives. With many thanks to those who have been sharing thanks with one another. I honor you with this song: I Am Woman. I am human. We are human. Thank you honey.



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