by Severine Nichols
There is a saying that goes "Wherever you go there you are" it is such a profoundly true thought. We each carry with us our thoughts and emotional baggage to every destination we journey to, without even realizing it.
After going through a divorce this earlier this year, I was feeling a bit down so my friend Kaulana and I decided to combine a trip to Los Angeles for business and to celebrate my 35th birthday.
We left the Garden Isle on red-eye flight out of the Lihue airport and by the time we arrived in Los Angeles airport, we were exhausted, with yet a full day of work and activities ahead of us.
At the end of our day, with our business complete, my friend Kaulana and I decided to take a trip into the heart of Rodeo Drive for some heavy window shopping and possible star gazing.
Since it was my birthday we wondered into the Gucci store to look around and admire all of the wonderful purses inside. I have a mad weakness for well-made handmade Italian leather handbags. I immediately fell in love with one and after trying it out several times, I looked the price tag. It was over 1, 100.00 dollars! I almost gasped out loud, but thank goodness, I did not.
I put it back on the shelf and started to walk away, but my friend said it is so pretty and it is your birthday after all….so I succumbed to the desire and pulled out my debit card and tried not to think about my ever dwindling bank account.
With my new purchase safely tucked in my hand, we called our hotel for a car to come and pick us up. (one of the many perks staying at the Park Hyatt is they provide such fantastic service, such as a town-car service to Rodeo Drive.)
We sat down outside to wait for the car, on a marble window-sill of the Gucci store which doubled as a bench; we were having a nice time people watching all of the various Hollywood types we don't really get to see over here on Kauai.
Suddenly we were approached by an elderly legless, African American man in a wheelchair holding an almost empty coffee cup in his left hand. He rolled up to us with clear eyes and a sweet smile on his face. There was something very gentle and different about this person, it was immediately noticeable from the start; there was not a trace of pity in this man, only happiness and pride. He did not ask for money nor did he beg. He asked how our day was and if we were enjoying our shopping experience. This made us smile and laugh deep inside for we were not the typical rich city money shoppers; we were just regular island gals out for a visit to the big city.
He said his name was Ron and started to do impressions for us, the first one was of a lifeless statue, he must have held that pose for well-over 2-3 minutes. All the while Kaulana and I were giggling like teenagers and smiling at his wonderful performance. Kaulana handed him a few dollars for his effort and I pulled out my wallet and proceeded to give him all of my cash, I think it was eleven dollars.
He looked at me and said thank you sister. To which I replied, "No thank, you gave us the gift of laughter and I thank you for sharing with us your talent."
" He said you know there are angels that walk around among us, everyday and most folks forget to look for them." I nodded my head in understanding.
I took it step further and said; "I think it is the spirit of Aloha; in being able to give and being open to all people, no matter where you are."
It was just at that moment our car arrived and we had to leave the nice man, who had so freely shared his gift of laughter. As we got in the car and we pulled away, it was then I realized though my wallet was empty of any cash, my heart was both richer and fuller and somehow I felt had shared some of the spirit of Aloha with an angel of Los Angeles.