Thank you, anonymous donor.
I noticed it in April when I poked my head into the meditation room as my husband and I were flying out of Albany. I gazed around the room and saw the Buddhist meditation pillows, the journal where travelers write comments, the bookshelf with Scriptures from many faiths, the semi-circular benches, the glass wall with etchings and heard the soothing nature sounds. And, last of all, as my gaze fell on the Islamic prayer rug, spread to face east toward Mecca, I spotted it: The beautiful new rug, all shiny and bright, set on top of the old one, now dull and frayed.
What was the best way to deal with this? Upon my return to Albany, I contacted a couple of senior board members of the Interfaith Meditation Room, of which I was immediate past president. Only items brought in by board members or with permission from board members should be placed in that room, I was told. In other words, I should remove it.
I visited the airport in my lunch hour and removed the new rug. I admired the red, blue and gold colors and the picture of the Kaaba, the holy mosque in Mecca. But most of all I was impressed that someone (possibly a local person) had noticed that the existing rug needed to be replaced and had measured the space, ordered the beautiful new rug, paid for it and had brought it to the meditation room (possibly while flying out of Albany again). There was no way I could toss it.
The board had a meeting in June and I brought along the rug, suggesting we replace the old rug with this new one. I held it up, everyone admired it. We voted unanimously to keep the new rug and do away with the old. I folded and rolled up the old rug and spread and smoothed out the new one in its place. It looked lovely.
I wish we knew who the kind donor is so we could thank him or her in person.