Stranger Aid.

Retreat Meadows, Brattleboro, Vermont

A stranger in the post office asks me if I can free her mail from her box. It’s a narrow box, nearly at the bottom of the wall. I crouch down, extracting envelope by envelope, taking care not to tear the paper. It’s clear she hasn’t collected her mail in some time. She waits patiently while I tug with some effort. While I hand up envelopes and fliers and magazines, I talk and talk, rambling on about the mail and whatever inane thing drifts into my mind. Around us, people open their boxes, collect their stuff, and disappear. I keep at my project, now kneeling. Finished, I shut her box door.

She thanks me, and we go our separate ways. Walking home, I keep thinking about that simple thing, how easy it is to give to a stranger. There’s likely an obvious lesson here. But one thing is clear, I got as much from the mail extraction as this woman.

… A cold and soggy April. Miniature daffodils push up through black soil. I keep feeding my wood stove.

2 thoughts on “Stranger Aid.

  1. So, you kept her Social Security check????

    I’m kidding….only kidding.

    In all seriousness, I have been enjoying your observations since Ben Hewitt recommended you as one of the writers that he reads consistently. I can see why. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

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