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Less Than A Snowball's Chance In-

Nov 2, 2005

Was changing trains in Chicago four years ago- the December of 2001. I had a monstrous black suitcase, a bulky brown duffle bag, a borrowed green winter coat (several sizes too large) a big black backpack and a soft pillow with a Christmassy cover. Mary with her usual thoughtfulness had insisted on giving it to me for the trainride (initially she?d wanted to give me a blow-up pillow. And five-year old Dan had instantly thrilled to the idea- A pillow that explodes? He?d asked incredulously). I hadn?t realized that you could check your bags straight through. So there I was in Chicago rushing to catch a connecting train with the mother-of-all-suitcases and more of her children than was sensible. But I?d devised a pretty neat way of handling my baggage which worked really well. Until I came to the staircase (no elevator). At the top of which I could see the train I needed to catch. There was no way I was going to be able to get my monstrous black suitcase, bulky brown duffle bag, borrowed green- etc up that staircase in time. And there wasn?t anyone else in sight. I considered sitting down on the steps and waiting for a miracle. But wasn?t too sure how effective that would be. So instead I started up those steps. Lifting, heaving, clutching, slipping. Must have been a very comical sight. I remember in the middle of it all lecturing myself- You?re So silly Pavi. When are you ever going to learn to Think about these obvious things? Things like- I should check my baggage in so that I won?t have to worry about missing my connection trying to climb a small staircase with a monstrous black suitcase, bulky br- and it was then that I sensed someone?s hand next to mine on the handle of the suitcase and in my surprise I let go and the hand which was attached to a burly old man in blue jeans and a plaid shirt continued on up the stairs with the bag. He was whistling. And I remembered registering how well he whistled even in that under-your-breath kind of way.

Less than a snowball's chance in Madurai
The heart that encounters Unexpected Kindness in this world.

And yes it's Kindness that comes you undone like a shoelace. Tips you over with awkward grace back into that perfect place- that only you can fill for this world.

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