How do you properly honor someone who made an indelible mark on your life and yet you’ve never met them outside of their art? Amy Krouse Rosenthal was a woman who shared so generously of herself that I felt like I knew her. Like, knew her knew her. Thankfully the beautiful Sherry Belul created the Plant a Kiss kindness project in Amy's honor.
Today I ran around a rainy Portland hiding notes at bus shelters, under trees, next to dog bowls and under a condiment holder with her messages "Make the most of your time here" and "Peace means no one is worried about anyone else's cookie...In this moment we are all quietly content with the cookies we have" the latter were left at a Max stop and bus shelter along with a box of cookies. All the notes were sealed with Plan Be.
I went to Powell's Books to buy some of her children's books with the intention of taking them to a children's hospital. More on that in a moment. Earlier in the week, I'd hoped to find a yellow umbrella which was from her Beckoning of Lovely meetups in Chicago but sadly hadn't come across any. As I waited at the register I glanced over and there was a small rack of umbrellas and wouldn't you know there was one single, bright, perfectly yellow umbrella waiting for me. Thanks, Amy! As I was driving around the thought popped into my head that the books wanted to go to a family. As I rounded the turn I spotted 2 little girls running ahead of their mother who was pushing a stroller with a third child. Of course! I had left notes inside each book to remind the young reader that they were so very special and loved. That there was one book for each of the children confirmed that they were absolutely the family who were supposed to receive them.
Amy's memoirs Encyclopedia of an Ordinary Life and Textbook Amy Krouse Rosenthal: not exactly a memoir are two wonderful windows into her world. If you have not yet read them I say drop all the things and make some time for them.
I've decided to hold onto the yellow umbrella for awhile longer so it can serve as a reminder to approach every day with wonder, curiosity, and generosity. ATM: Always Trust Magic. Until I feel the pull that it is time to pass it along.
Thank you for the gift of you, Amy Krouse Rosenthal! You will live on in the magic and memory.
Here is a StoryCorps Extra she recorded with her daughter Paris in July of last year. They had just learned her cancer had returned and it was touching, tender and a beautiful exchange of love.
Let's follow Amy's lead and be sure to make the most of our time here. Look at trees, share the love, beckon the lovely and always, always trust magic.