Monday, December 28, 2015

Humanity Revisited

Christmas Day + 3, Monday, 5:30 am - I get up to let the dogs out, because--well, because it's 5:30, according to their clocks.  I hear tremendous wind. I look at my weather app. Windchill 21 degrees, rain (of course). The driving wind made me think about my trash, which we had put out the day before. I peeked out the front window. Not what I wanted to see at 5:30 am.

I can see by the streetlight that my trash barrel has blown over. There is trash all over my front yard, all over the street, up into the yard of my neighbor across the street and down the street.

Trash pickup comes early. So, I get dressed, grab a couple of extra trash bags, and head out into the frozen monsoon to try and gather it all up before the truck arrives. Wet, nasty, garbage and discarded Christmas wrapping, soggy cardboard, and the remains of a box that contained a young child's toy---wait, we don't have young children...

Hmmm, I don't recognize that wrapping paper...or that cereal box. I take a closer look at my trash. It's all intact! The barrel has blown over but all trash bags are intact, including the extra one I had placed outside the barrel!

I look across the street at the neighbor's trash barrel.  Under the glow of the streetlight, I can see that his barrel is overturned as well.  Actually, as I look more closely, it looks like it exploded. Yep, it's his trash, not mine, spread out over his yard, my yard (all the way into my far side yard), down the street, in the street, everywhere. I don't know how many extra bags he had put out, but I found one of them, half-emptied, in my front yard. And the remaining contents scattered nearby.

Of course, all the trash and garbage is soaked, causing some of it to come apart when touched. That always helps the pickup process. It was almost overwhelming, looking over the massive amount of mess strewn over my yard and the street.

Right about then, a pickup truck pulled up and two ladies stepped out into the frigid, early morning wind and rain, and began picking up the trash with me. No gloves, no scarves, no heavy coats. Just helping.

Humanity. Revisited.

It occurred to me that, given the current climate of social media, it's almost surprising that these two Samaritans didn't say, "Before we help, tell us, are you a Christian or non-Christian? Are you Conservative or Liberal? Where do you stand on abortion? Gun control?"

No, there were no questions asked. They didn't even ask if I had any spare gloves. They simply pitched in and helped.

Job done, I'm back inside, warm and dry, with fresh hot coffee. And a little better feeling about people in general.