A Home for This Heart

It peeked out at me from behind a bush as I hurried by on lunch one day. A bit of a wink and the slightest wave was enough to make me take notice and pause in my tracks. Looking around in case this was a trick, I walked onward, making the promise to stop on my way back to work. I needed a coffee and a reading break to determine whether it was worth the investment. I also wanted to see if someone else stopped and fell for the thing. I like to give the universe the option to correct itself in case its motions weren’t meant for me. 

I finished my coffee at Stacks and walked back in the fall sunshine. This was what made the Northeast worthwhile – these sunny October days that felt balmy and bright, like the winter might not come this year. We suspend our belief at such moment. We believe instead in what feels best. In this suspended state, I returned to see this little heart still dangling from an azalea bush in downtown Albany. 

It was one of those things that longed to be found, but only by the observant person who happened to care enough to look out for it. When I was a kid, I once found a fallen Mylar balloon near our backyard, stuck on a rusty wire fence, still halfway floating, still halfway trying to get away and rise. I freed it and carried it back home, fighting off a few neighborhood kids who had seen the treasure and tried to take it from me. (Well, maybe not fighting as much as arguing and running.) On this day, no one fought me as I free the little heart from its azalea entanglement. 

A fabric notion built on whimsy and wishes, it came with an online promotional message as well. “I need a home,” it implored on its tiny tag, and my own heart broke a little. Someone has sewn this. Someone had cut it out. Someone had attached a pretty ribbon and had the faith and hope to hang it here. And someone counted on someone else to find it. A simple instruction was printed on the tag: Report this heart:

A sign of the times: a hand-made quilted heart with a social media connection. Looking it up online a few days later, I found a quirky little enterprise that’s about sewing (and sowing) these little hearts simply for the sake of brightening someone else’s day. And if it worked on a cynical guy like myself, I imagine it’s doing wonders for others in Albany and elsewhere. I may even dust off my sewing skills and contribute. 

On the front, amid the quilted chaos contained in the shape of a heart, was a simple sewn-on message: you are loved. The power of that is enough to change the world. 

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