Today I got a letter from Elea Carey, an editor at A River & Sound Review, a magazine that published my story The Third Place. The story had to do with one gesture of compassion and empathy that one train passenger extended to another. Elea wrote:
"I was taking the train from Reno to SF (Emeryville, actually). To get time alone with no wifi, no kids, no sick father, and no dogs to walk was a total blessing. I was enjoying it by writing an extra long and detailed journal entry when, just as we came out of a tunnel near Donner Pass, the woman in the seat behind me burst into tears. The train car got very quiet but no one moved to do anything. I sat for a moment, then I closed my computer and went back to her and said, "Tell me about it.""
Small gestures count a great deal, I think. And they take a great deal of courage.