“The important thing is to strive towards a goal which is not immediately visible. That goal is not the concern of the mind, but of the spirit.”
— Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, Flight to Arras, 1942, translated from French by Lewis Galantière
As I was changing the reader board at my daughter’s school yesterday, a woman walked by, bundled up against the cold.
I told her no, I was a volunteer. A stiff breeze hit her in the face as she considered this.
Glancing at the empty parking lot she puzzled, “So there’s no one else here?”
I repeated that yes, it was just me. She paused again. Another cold breeze blew.
“Good for you. But you should get paid,” she said as she walked walking away, the leaves swirling around her feet.
Yes, it was just a passing moment. Yes, it was cold. Yes, it was raining. Yes, I was the only one there. No, I didn’t need to be paid.
It was just the right time to put up a new message. School would soon resume. The upcoming events are well-known. It was time to change, just like the leaves.
In autumn, the leaves change colors and make the leap. They don’t wait for the homeowner to stand below, rake in hand. They don’t wait for the wind. They don’t wait for compensation. They don’t wait for instructions. The leaves just flutter away when it’s time.
Sometimes in life, we don’t know when it’s time to make a change. We may not know what path we’re heading down. We may feel like we’re waiting for instructions which never seem to come. It may not feel like the right time.
But it is. And the important thing to do is to start. Something. Anything. Don’t wait for the wind to push you. Don’t wait for the man with the rake to tell you it’s time. Make the leap.
One effective way to do that is by by volunteering somewhere new, with others. It’s a safe way to stretch and do something good.
Go help someone different. Try something that gives back to someone you know, or don’t know. Don’t hesitate. Do. Make the world better right now, in some way even if it isn’t the right time, the right day, or the right way.
The leaves don’t hesitate to make a change. Why do we?
Yesterday’s gift of time … Changed the reader board at my daughter’s school again. It was time.