It was Valentine's Day Eve, and not being very good at planning ahead for holidays, I had a sudden urge to crochet some hearts to share with the world. I made six of them while binge-watching MadMen (I can't explain), and a few more the next morning, with a vague plan to give them to random strangers throughout the day.

Two days earlier, I had a knock at the door, and there was a total stranger, a neighbor from a block or so up the street, holding two packages of mine that I'd assumed were missing forever. This made three rather important items our new mail delivery person had dropped off at the wrong address. One was our rent deposit check. I was getting grumpy.

I checked into filing an official complaint with the USPS, and then considered calling or visiting the local post office to grumble in person. And then, while working on a nice pink heart on Valentine's Day morning, it occurred to me to try being nice first.

I pulled out my good thank you notes, handmade by my daughter, and wrote a short, polite message to the mailman. I explained that several of our things had been mistakenly delivered to a similar address up the street, and that I'd be ever so grateful if he could help solve the issue. Then, figuring that everyone enjoys a surprise Valentine, I enclosed the pink heart, wrote "To Our Mail Carrier" on the envelope, and left it in the mailbox. I didn't know what to expect, so didn't expect anything.

Heart #1, delivered.

As we went about our day, I handed a few more hearts to people I interacted with, but the most fun was sneakily leaving them as surprises, resting on a pile of lemons in the market, dropped into a fellow shopper's bag when they looked away for a second, tossed into an open car window, dropped into a tip jar (along with a real tip, of course), left hanging on a hedge by the beach... So much fun.

Rick helped me, and came up with the name "Heart-Balming" as an alternate to "Heart-Bombing." This morning he asked me when we could do it again, and I pointed to the growing stack of rainbow colored hearts I started making after dispersing fifteen red, pink, and white ones in the course of one Valentine's Day.

We can do this every day. And we might. I think it might even be worthy of inviting others to join us, because it's really fun, and who knows, it just might be helpful to the world. For a while, at least, I think I'll carry a pocket full of hearts wherever I go, along with a crochet hook and a ball of yarn, in case I need to make one on the fly. If you see me, ask for one. Maybe I'll give you two, so you can share the Love with someone else. And if you want to make your own and join in on this very unofficial Heart-Balm Project, please do!

Back to the mailman... When we got home and took our mail out of the box, there was a little note for us in reply to mine...

This made my own heart happy. And this is why we need to remember to treat each other sweetly as a first step in problem solving. I know it doesn't always work, but it's almost always worth a try.


  1. Beautiful photos and story. I tried practicing a daily act of random kindness during the month of December and it was quite an attitude changer. I will try to be kinder to my mail carrier from now on.

  2. I would love to share some hearts! Are you willing to share your crochet instructions?

  3. Carol, I can't imagine you ever being unkind to anyone! :o) If you want to leave a heart for your mailman, here's the pattern I use. For you too, Zoe! http://www.skiptomylou.org/crochet-heart-garland/


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