Saturday, October 22, 2011
If a tree falls...
Remember awhile back, when I wrote about discovering someone had weeded my flower bed, without my knowing? Well, I tracked down the culprit later that week, and she had a really good laugh. Apparently there was almost a betting pool going, on how long it would take me to notice, by the time I finally did...nearly a month later. There are factors in my defense, but that would be straying off of the point, too. Which is: I wonder how many times during that month I felt sorry for myself, having to do (sigh) everything around here all by myself, when in fact that wasn't the case at all. Now of course, I mostly like doing things myself, closet (?) control freak that I am, but I can throw a helluva pity party when I'm overwhelmed.
But good things don't just happen when I'm too whiny to notice. Last night, when I got home from work, it was already dark, but things seemed different in the swath of back yard illuminated by my headlights. The same friend, Sherry, had suggested we haul the fallen tree branches from my lilacs and maples out to another friend's bonfire site, so I suspected morning light would reveal a dearth of fire pit wood throughout my yard.
This morning after my shower, I tried to see from the bathroom window if the big lilac branch that laid at the top end of the driveway most of the summer, was gone, but the steam and the roof line blocked my view. Figuring I'd check later from the back porch, I headed for the closet, and while trying to decide whether to wear paint clothes for a day of mostly office work, I thought I'd better try on my outfit for a night at the symphony that's coming up. I don't dress up very often, so finding matching outfits that are seasonally appropriate is a challenge, but let's not follow that thread, either. Basically, one outfit led to another, and after about twenty minutes of testing possible interesting combinations (most of which weren't), I pulled on my paint clothes, just in case an irresistible urge to prime something came over me, and was just looking for my favorite pink socks, when the doorbell rang.
Sure enough, there stood Sherry. She'd have loved to leave me wondering again, but she also knew I often have scrap wood from carpentry projects, and wanted to be sure we got that loaded to go to the burn pile, too. The funny thing? Yes, she was here yesterday, but today while I played dress-up (a.k.a. procrastinate on paperwork), and apparently just seconds after I looked out the bathroom window, she was loading the big lilac limb onto a trailer her burn-pile friends drove over. These friends-of-my-friend knew the former owners of my house, and in fact she had her bridal shower here, if I remember the story right. Apparently my house has friends of her own in this town, but that's a story for another day, too.
And so, back to the point, which is: I truly believe the world is kept going by the unsung Heroes Of The Everyday. You're one of them, I'll wager. Maybe you can't pull off as big a sneaky as my friend Sherry, but you put the new roll of toilet paper on the spindle in the coffee shop bathroom, because the place was busy, and it's just nicer that way. You stood up the bicycle that tipped over in front of the exit door at the hardware store, so it didn't block the next person coming out. You picked up the fallen shirt below the clearance rack at the department store, and maybe you even dropped a quarter in the parking meter for the car in front of you. Nobody knows it was you who did it, but the world runs smoother for your efforts.
So, thank you. Whether your contributions were tiny everyday things, or great big favors, no matter where in the world you did it, the waves rippled outward, and my life is better for it. All those favors, small and large, smoothing the rough edges of the day for friends and strangers alike, I know you did them. I may not have heard the tree fall, nor the truck that hauled it off, never even noticed probably a dozen more branches that came down in the last storm, buried under the leaves that fell the same night, but I know my life doesn't run this smoothly on my efforts, alone.