I am open to the guidance of synchronicity,

and do not let expectations hinder my path.

~Dalai Lama

Today is my day to volunteer at Hospice Austin’s Christopher House.

The table is set up with art supplies, so that I can draw Heart Blessings for HACH patients, caregivers, family members, staff, volunteers, or anybody who may show up.

The area where I’m stationed appears to be very quiet.

I sit patiently, drawing in the silence.

A landscaper, working on the garden surrounding HACH, decides to take a break. We sit and engage in conversation.

And then he leaves . . . and in just a few minutes, I look up into the eyes of a nine year-old Latino boy.

It doesn’t take long for me to realize, he doesn’t speak much English.


My Spanish is limited; although every now and then, I step back into my days at the University of Illinois and my experiences of studying Spanish for four semesters.

I soon discover that although the young boy named Juan and I do not speak the same language . . . we willingly speak the language of the heart, openly communicating through smiles and the twinkling in our eyes.

I sit and draw Juan a Blessing using his name.

As I finish the drawing and present it to him, I note the spirit in his heart soaring as does the spirit in my heart.

We sit and draw, or I should say . . . I draw and Juan sits intently by my side, quietly observing my every stroke with the pen.

Suddenly the pens I’ve brought appear to be running out of ink.

Oh, no! I think . . . what will I do?

A good ol’ ballpoint pen serves me well. I draw with it, noting it has a fine point and doesn’t show up as well on the paper.

I hesitate for a moment, and then go ahead, giving Juan the most recently-drawn Blessing to add it to his expanding stack of Blessings.

He smiles and looks at me, picking up one of the pens I thought had gone dry.

Juan uses it, tracing over the Heart Blessing I’ve just drawn for him.

So patiently Juan traces each stroke. The stroke lines he makes are big, bold, and black.

Miraculously the pen continues to work for him, card after card after card that we create together as an artistic team.

Juan continues to sit by my side, quietly observing my every move.

He’s here at Christopher House I discover with a family member, visiting a grandparent nearing the end of life.

People pass by the table, perusing the Heart Blessings and engaging in conversation.

Juan continues to sit at my side, smiling and beaming a heart light, dispelling the belief that it takes words to communicate effectively with another.

A care-giving husband and his wife appear. She’s confined to a wheelchair and at times is challenged in her breathing.

They stop and peruse the Heart Blessings.

She picks up one, entitled, Believe.

Her husband reads her the Blessing, tearing up as he does so.

She looks into my eyes, and smiles.

She says three words to me, “God bless you.”

And so today . . . this very ordinary day, I discover in the midst of living a powerful message awaiting me.

A message from Life, reminding me just how deeply I do believe.

Loving you,

Robert, aka Bob