An encounter with Earth

A column written by our staff

For this week’s column, I want to share a sweet encounter that’s been on my mind since the day it happened.

click to enlarge Brandy Simpkins
Brandy Simpkins
Early last Monday, I was sitting at the park, enjoying the aroma of my lit incense stick. I know that may seem a little weird, but I love the smell of incense, and I will proudly take them wherever I’m allowed. I watched people as they passed me by. Everyone just swiftly passed along except for this one lady. She was short with wavy hair, and she carried three duffle bags that all hang from her back and sides.

The stranger stopped right in front of me. I became slightly irritable and uncomfortable because for a few seconds, she didn’t say a single word. She just stood there about 7-feet away from me and watched me before finally saying, “I like the smell of your incense.” Instantly, I became at ease. We exchanged a few words of our mutual appreciation for incense before I said “You can have it.” In my mind, I hoped she had a lighter because I didn’t want to give up the only one I had -- it was my favorite. She was pleased and told me her name was Earth.

“That’s not my real name; that’s what people call me,” she said. Though I was not initially looking to enjoy that time alone, for about 20 minutes, I enjoyed Earth’s company as she shared her dreams and inner thoughts like, “It’s so interesting to meet new people. Your own life is like a story and you’re the main character, but you get to meet other characters like Brandy.”

I chuckled and thought, “Well actually you’re the character in my story.”

There would be no need to argue that, though, since we’d both be right.

By the end of the conversation with Earth, she said, “Since this has been such a blessing, I want to leave you with something.” She removed a palo santo stick from a bag inside of the bag where she kept her other incense.

“Oh, and I want to give this to you too,” she said. “It’s sentimental to me, but it’s time to let it go,” and she handed me a lighter. Then she walked away.