People are kind.
Just now, I took the dog for a walk. It’s chilly, but as usual, I chose not to wear a jacket. One of the things I like about frigid weather in the winter is how alive I feel when the glacial air blasts my face.
It’s cool and breezy today, but not at all frigid. Still, the cool wind on my face reminded me to be grateful to be alive. Shortly after the initial breeze, I got a whole lot more grateful. Here’s why…
Erin, (my dog) and I began our usual walk.
There have been two geese hanging out in the front of our house for about one month. They appear, disappear and then reappear. They’ve also caused an immense amount of worry in me. They keep walking across the busy street as slowly as geese typically do, and I’m terrified one or both of them will be killed.
As Erin and I walked closer to the geese, they both started their sluggish journey across the street, and frighteningly close to the corner. I stopped walking Erin and considered stepping into the street to make sure cars could see the geese. While I was deciding, and cars were coming on all sides, each car, one by one, slowed and then stopped. The geese separated from each other, so that one was in the center of north side, and the other on the south side of the street. The geese just stood there, looking at each other, almost as if they knew they held all of the power. They’d stopped all traffic and there was a long line of traffic facing north, east and west.
As I looked at the faces of as many drivers as I possibly could, one after another, there were smiles of surrender and an almost obvious commitment to being patient. It’s as if we all got together as a community and collectively decided that we would all wait together, in peace, as the geese stood in the middle of the busy street.
I felt so proud to bear witness to our small community.
After about four minutes or so, the geese flew to a rooftop across the busy street. I waved to as many drivers as I could. I might have looked nuts, but I didn’t care and neither did they. They waved back at me. I took a moment to pay homage to this community and prayed for more of exactly what we’d all just experienced, together.
Erin and I continued walking just a little bit further.
In the driveway of a new house being constructed, an old woman had pulled her car in on a weird angle. She got out of her car and approached Erin and me. She had a small green piece of paper and a pen in her hand, and I, sort of out of character, had my defenses up. Erin was wagging her tail.
Before the woman could come any closer, I said, “Please don’t come closer to my dog.” (As Erin wagged her tail and just wanted to play.) Then, I checked myself.
The woman stopped moving toward us and spoke in very broken English, “I heet a carr und I need to write note. I no rememberr how to write word. Ken yoou help me?”
All of my defenses dropped and I told her that I was very happy to help her. She said, “How you write word Apow-lo-jjjieeze?” I smiled and slowly said, “A-P-O-L-O-G-I-Z-E.”
She thanked me and walked back to her car, likely to drop off her note to the car she’d hit.