January 20, 1998

Quiet Saints

I like to think about people like Mother Teresa and Albert Schweitzer. They knew they were inseparable from Spirit. Each lived a long, fulfilling life. They are famous examples of people of profound faith. I believe there are also many deeply connected people who are not famous. They may be known only to a few people whose lives they touch directly. I imagine they have a profound impact on the consciousness of the planet as a whole. I want to learn how to look for and appreciate the quiet, undramatic saints.

I feel like I saw one such saint on a plane ride to Florida. A short, very overweight woman in her sixties, she looked Hawaiian or Polynesian. She overflowed the middle seat located one row back and across from us. She glowed.

I was aware of her from the moment we got on the plane. She clearly was enjoying herself. The difference between the radiance of her face and the bored, jaded, gray look of the two people on either side of her was startling. David and I were making rainbows on the cabin ceiling, using the amethyst necklace I was wearing, catching the sun's rays coming through the plane window. She was enjoying our playfulness, smiling and laughing with us. I stood up and cuddled a baby girl from the row behind us for a bit, as her mother was busy with her other child. My quiet saint said only one sentence to me. In unaccented English, she said, "She likes you," about the baby. I replied, "I like her, too." It wasn't a profound conversation in any sense. Yet I felt as if I had been blessed by her approval and appreciation, by her merely noticing my existence. I don't expect to ever forget her.

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