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  • From Little Magnolia Girl to Being Grateful

    Posted on July 23rd, 2009 Michele Sun No comments

    I was waiting for the light to turn green at  corner of Xinyi Road@Fuxing South Road in Taipei, and suddenly heard a tiny voice “Auntie, do you want to buy some flowers?” I lowered my head to the source of that tiny voice and saw a girl about 5 or 6 years old. She was very dark skinned and got several beads of sweat on her small face. She was selling string of magnolias on street, under the brutal sun at noon.

    Out of no where I felt a tug in my heart, so I knelt down and looked directly at her asking how much she was selling the flower for. Thirty she said. (NT 30 is a little less than $ 1)

    I was a little surprised how cheap the string of magnolias was, but my sense of  living standard in Taiwan wasn’t very up to date anyway. I looked into her small straw basket and saw she only had less than NT  100 there; business probably wasn’t doing well nowadays. I immediatelly pulled out my wallet and handed her NT 30  and accepted the small string of flowers she handed over. She bowed her thanks profoundly and I felt so embarrassed.

    NT 30? I spent three times that much for a scoop of Movenpick ice cream, or my daily morning coffee. As I walking across the street when signal turned green, I could not help but turning back constantly to look at her while her small face and body walking up to one pedestrian to another pedestrian. Life is not easy for this little girl, isn’t it?DSC02005

    Sitting in the air conditioned bus, I looped the string of magnolias to my purse and could not get her image out of my head. I thought about the luxury I have and enjoy, and at the same time wondered what kind of hardship she was dealing with at such young age. Obviously she must be a tough kid, because I would not be able to stand the heat if I have to stand on the street, under the sun, the way she did. Sense of guilt and shame emerged and I felt I needed to do something for her.

    I got off the bus at the DungHua stop, and walked back to the corner where she was standing. She looked surprised when she saw me went back, and even more stunned when I pulled out several hundred dollar bills I had with me and gave them all to her. I told her to stay in the shade and don’t get sun burned, and I wished her business well that day. And, no, I did not want more flowers I told her, but she insisted to give them to me. I gladly accepted the flowers she handed over and passed them around to people who happened to pass by.

    Today, once again, I was remined how lucky I am for what I have – health, happiness, friendship and family. And I am deeply thankful for all the good things in my life. Life has been good to me!!


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