I’m walking to the co-op in the late afternoon and stop when I see a boy heading towards me. He’s maybe ten or twelve, and he stops and dutifully pulls up his mask.
I don’t know him by name, only by sight, and I know he’s always diligent about that mask. It’s cold, but not so cold as the past few days, and the sky is the twilight blue that reminds me of distant seas.
As he passes, I nod, and then I realize he’s wearing a hat I knitted with a coppery gold yarn. A friend had asked me to donate knitting to a local hat drive. I look back at him and watch that boy and hat disappear around the hillside.
Almost immediately, I realize I’m wearing a down jacket that I gleaned from the local cast-off closet at work. Someone had donated three down coats so brand-new the material slid beneath my fingers. I took all three, for my daughters and myself.
There’s likely a lesson there, but who cares, really? I tug the collar higher against the cold and hurry along the street.