“Silence is a text easy to misread. “
— A.A. Attanasio
There are days when we silently give our time to the appreciation of no one.
And then there are other days.
A broken bottle lay on the street near the school bus stop. Fixing that problem only needed a broom, dustpan, garbage sack and a little time.
Afterwards, looking up and down the street, it seemed to be in need of a little trash pickup. So, that’s what I did. Nothing new.
What was new, however, was when two people slowed their car with a rolled-down passenger window and said, “Thanks for doing that. It’s really cool.” Nice.
By the time I had worked my way back up the street and was fighting a blackberry bramble after retrieving an errant Starbucks cup, (the bramble won) an SUV had slowed with a driver’s window rolled down. The woman inside said, “Thank you!” as she drove off. I waved.
It’s not really supposed to work that way. I’ve picked up trash on our street numerous times and the most verbose things usually are the drone of cars, rain splatters, or silence.
And that’s how it goes. You can volunteer to the great appreciation of many, or to the silent whispers of the wind. It doesn’t really matter. Everything we do to help someone matters. Even if it’s just picking up trash.
It’s hard to hear appreciation in the silence. But that doesn’t mean it’s not there.
It just doesn’t speak up often enough.
Picked up trash on our street to a few people’s appreciation. Changed the reader board at my daughter’s school in silence.