This face


You never know when it will happen, when you suddenly receive sight.  You see something in a wonderfully strange new way, as if You are the only one, ever, who has seen it.  You feel an immediate relationship  to the object of your attention.

I remember once, sitting by the side of the road in the middle of nowhere while my husband changed our flat tire and I noticed a little flower growing nearby.  An otherwise ordinary wild-flower made exceptional in the moment.  The flower moved in the breeze and moved me with her dance.  I could almost hear her whisper, “Look at me.  I am here just for you.  You will be the one I dazzle with my brilliance in my short life time.”  I saw, really saw this one flower in this one spot in this exact moment.  I had a mysterious notion that someone had moved heaven and earth, including blowing our tire, to bring that flower and me together to arouse me, bless me, love me.

I have passed by all types of flowers in my lifetime, zillions of them.  They all sort of blend and merge and make for great scenery along my life’s journey. People are like that too.  Faces flash by on the news, in the grocery store, at the airport.  I zip by them and  absent-mindedly categorize them into manageable varieties: beggar, pilot, American, businesswoman, mother, Asian, orphan, criminal, banker, movie star.  Perhaps I smile, perhaps not.

But this one day, this one face crossed my Facebook screen and caused me to pause for a moment.  Gracefully, miraculously I could see.

Learn more about the amazing people who found and care for this child and others at Orbit Village.

Kolkata 3- The Orphanage



We visit another building a little distance from the Home for the Dying.  We open a door and are immediately greeted by a small toddler reaching up.  Without thinking I pick him up.  He is pointing outside.  He cannot play outside today because it has rained and there are puddles on the ground and the sisters are worried about the electric wires that hang loosely from the building all around.  He will not let me go and puts a foot lock around my waist. There are many like him teetering about in one room with several women caring for them.

We go upstairs where there are four rooms full of cribs.  So many babies. They all wear cotton diapers, probably made by the lepers, and no rubber pants, yet they are all clean.  Again, all laundry is done by hand.  That thought alone overwhelms me.  The children smile and reach for you when you walk by.  You can tell that they have been loved and cared for because they are so responsive.  There is an obvious absence of toys.  There is a record player playing nursery songs.  The older children pull up in their cribs and dance to the music. 

Occasionally, someone cries and one of the women will coo and cuddle up with them until they are quiet.  Some women have babies in their laps.  One is cutting a child’s toenails.  We are told that there are no “very sick” ones now.  I notice one child with a cleft palate and one with a broken leg in a body cast.  There is also a baby in the newborn room who has a temperature and one who is under the incubator light.  There are twins who have a picture tied to their crib of their “mommy and daddy.”  We are told that they have been adopted but are awaiting all the mounds of paperwork necessary before they can go to their families. 

What happens to the rest of them, I wonder?  We are told that many will be adopted and the rest will be cared for by other services when they get too old for the nursery.  They are beautiful.  Bo and I want to take them home with us, especially one little boy we affectionately named Antonio (as in Banderas).  We love and hug and play with them all as long as we can; until we have to go.  We take the images of their faces with us.