I was a part of something small, simple, and beautiful, yesterday. I had gone to the bank for the community and included a swing by the library in my loop homeward. A bonus day for me, I left with a volume apiece from three different series I enjoy. It was brilliantly sunny--a generous, kind, balance to the snowdrifts taller than I am that line the streets and the slush swamps deeper than the ankle that pool at almost every corner.
I was approaching Spring Garden and South Park when I saw a guy I recognized from a coffeeshop I have gone to several times. He has something to do with the music industry. He, in his wheelchair, had an ice spade and was chunking free the frozen expanse at the corner that prevented him from passing easily. I asked if he wanted help. "Sure, if you have a minute! If you could shovel away what I break up, that'd be great." He pointed to a pile of shovels and other tools over by where he'd tossed his jacket.
We were working for some minutes and another guy stopped. "Want a hand?" He spelled the other man with the ice spade.
A woman soon approached. "I've got time. Want help?" She too began to shovel and toss.
Another woman stopped to cross and was watching us.
"You all are the most beautiful thing I have seen in a long time...so much cooperation between people who don't know one another... Thank you. Just...thank you."
I walked the rest of the way home full of thanks for being able to lend a hand, full of thanks for sunshine and the stretch of clear sidewalk beneath my feet, and full of thanks for helping show a woman that at least in one, small, literal, corner of the world, hope is not lost.