Watching the world go by with... ‘ Wayfarer’
There’s a natural instinct, I believe, that encourages us to help each other. The world, and the things of the world, tend to make it difficult though. But that instinct doesn’t give in easily.
Walking home one evening, I saw an elderly lady pulling her wheelie bin to the roadside. It was almost as tall as her and, as I would find out, surely heavier. The path from her garden to the roadside was uphill and she was walking backwards, pulling it in short jerks. Her walking stick hung over the handle of the bin.
“Here! Let me help with that,” I called out. She didn’t seem to hear me and jumped when I arrived at her side, but she thanked me and let me take the bin. As quickly as I could I deposited it by the road then hurried to take her arm.
“Careful,” I said, “those wet leaves will be slippery underfoot.”
“You know,” she said, “these wet leaves make the path quite slippy underfoot.” I agreed. Then she sighed and added, “If I had thought to bring my brush I could have swept the path on the way back so no one else slipped.”
In her nineties, walking with a stick, hard- of- hearing, pulling a heavy bin, and she wished she had added a broom to that load so she could have done something to make the world, or that tiny part of it, better for others. I told her I thought she was quite wonderful — but I’m not sure she heard me.
Sometimes our physical situations limit us, sometimes it’s rules and regulations.
The man in front of me in the supermarket queue looked a bit upset. Already in discussion with the woman behind the till when I arrived I heard him say, “still in hospital” and “not much they can do now”.
A moment later the woman asked if I could mind her till. She told me she would get fired if anyone found out she had left her post. And off they both went, her with her arm around his shoulder.