Friday, January 21, 2011
You Never Know
I was shoveling out the mailboxes after our third snowstorm in as many weeks, grumbling with each shovel full and thinking, typical! to myself after each pickup truck with a plow sailed past me without so much as a, "Hey, can I help you out there?"
A misanthrope and loner by nature since childhood (my mother would try to cajole me to come downstairs and recite poetry for her dinner guests and my standard response was always, "No, I don't like those people!"), I'm still staggered by how insensitive, unhelpful, and selfish my fellow humans can be (no, not all, and not always). And then, we hardly ever see ourselves through our own eyes.
I had just heaved an exceedingly heavy shovel of snow and ice over the growing pile and was leaning with my head on the shovel handle when I heard what I immediately thought of as Reya's "Voice" (she speaks of it in her January 17th post titled All Along the Watchtowers).
I am no mystic. I'm not a Believer either. I'm a skeptic at worst, and a maybe-er at best. But I'm telling you I heard a voice and it said, "Perhaps if you felt differently about your fellow man, he would appear differently to you."
I picked up my head. Not a soul in sight. And then in my ear, "And if you keep shoveling while you wait for kindness to appear, at least the mailboxes will be cleared."
How very Zen.
I'd like to say the next truck that appeared stopped and the driver offered to plow my driveway for me so I could get to the store for milk. That did not happen. But? As I cleared the last shovel full of snow in front of the mailboxes, a pickup truck did stop and in it was my neighbor. "I'm going into town, " he said. "Can I get anything for you?"
Reya often repeats two things in her blog posts. She insists on thinking we humans have some worth despite our awful shortcomings, and she pays attention to Voices. Perhaps I should, too. It just may make a difference in the way the world appears to me from now on.