The yellow envelope project: round one

by Kim on July 29, 2012 · 26 comments

If you haven’t yet read this post about the amazing gift that our friends Glenn and Michele gave to us before we left Portland to travel please do so now. It provides the background to this story and will also probably leave you in tears.

Brian and I are calling the gift from Glenn and Michele our Yellow Envelope Project. As the recipients of this incredible gift we feel like we are carrying around an exciting and special secret, searching for the perfect situation in which to reveal it. 

A few weeks ago we gave away the first of many Yellow Envelope Project gifts.

The first gift of the yellow envelope project

Brian and I emerged from our backpacking trip in the Tetons dirty and tired and in need of some serious down time. We’d walked dozes of miles up mountains and through snow. We’d spent the previous month in the company of others. I had an almost physical ache to go home and lay on my couch. Except, I don’t have a couch. Or a home.

We decided, instead, that we would get a hotel room and relax for a few days. We’d reunite ourselves with the internet. We’d call our families to say hello. We’d take ourselves out on a real date and not worry about our budget.

We selected Salt Lake City, Utah as our destination. Through the grace of Yelp we found a Mexican Restaurant with rave reviews called The Red Iguana. We arrived at The Red Iguana and found that there was a line out the door. Eventually we were seated and drinks were delivered.

Brian and I always have our best conversations over dinner and as we began to relax the conversation started flowing between us. We talked about all we’d done in the past few weeks and how it was almost inconceivable to us that we were actually doing what we’d dreamed of doing for so many years. It was clear that this date was exactly what we needed to reconnect.

The Red Iguana- home of the first Yellow Envelope Project gift

As we were finishing our meals and reflecting on all of the adventures we’d had so far two men with guitars came into the room and gathered around our table. Would you like a song?” the older man asked me. Of course!” I answered back. He looked at Brian and I with a twinkle in his eye “For you, we will play a song of romance.”

The men began singing and strumming their guitars. They sang in Spanish, so I didn’t know what they were saying, but they closed their eyes and threw their heads back and put everything they had into that song. It was wonderful.

When the song was over we clapped and thanked them for their performance. That song is the hardest to play but it is the best,” the older man said.  I slipped him a $2 tip and they disappeared from the room.

As we sat at our table smiling, Brian and I agreed that we’d needed that romantic song more than they’d ever know. We decided that these two men would be the perfect recipients of the first Yellow Envelope Project gift.  

As we rose to leave the restaurant Brian slipped the men what was surely their biggest tip of the night and told them, once again, how much we’d enjoyed their performance.  The men nodded their heads and smiled.

Brian and I left the restaurant talking about how great it feels when the right thing comes along at the right time. Those men made our night and we hoped that we were able to make theirs too.

It was a simple gesture but the perfect kick-off to the Yellow Envelope Project.

The men who sang their hearts out for us. It’s a blurry picture but all I have.

The thing about giving is that you never know the true impact of your gift. Perhaps your gift draws a smile or shines a tiny light in an otherwise normal day. If that happens, that is enough

But maybe, just maybe, the flame catches. Maybe the bit of kindness you’ve shown roars to life and spreads like wildfire. Maybe your act of kindness creates a chain reaction of good that sweeps farther and wider than you’ll ever know.

Kindness is powerful and has magic in it and it begins with us. Where it ends cannot be determined. 

Become a part of the Yellow Envelope Project. Do something good today and, when you do, share your stories in the comments section below or email them to me and I will share them in a future post.