Wednesday, January 20, 2010

A Day of Interpretation

Before the next onslaught of rain and wind, I started along my running route. Palm branches the length of cars cluttered the middle of the street. I raced in before and after cars to drag the fronds into the gutter away also from the bike path. 

The morning sprouted blue and sunny. I felt helpful and even found a dime.  A variety of looks, gestures and honks negated my glee.  No walkers stopped to help either. Avoiding the audience response, I continued to redistribute the branches during my jog down the hill.

The sidewalk had caved in along my route by Wind 'N Sea beach.  Today the repair sported initials and phrases. Lines included praise to the sun and hopes. I stopped to read and said to the fellow in charge, "Oh, I arrived too late to write!"

That comment inflamed his distaste. He grimaced and raised hands to sky.  "I spent hours getting this just right and look what people have done. Now I have to smooth it."

"Have you read any of it?" I asked.

"They don't appreciate the work it takes.  Bet they'd not like a job they had to keep doing over and over," he raised a wrench.

"They'll just do it again if you're not here to stop them," I said.

He became more agitated until I shared my morning story. 

"Well, I know you were trying to do a good deed, " he said finally letting a smile escape.

 "Appreciation!  They just don't get what we're trying to do.  Why not put sheets of paper on the curb and encourage them to write you a Thank You rather than writing in the cement?"  

His eyes shifted and the smile enlivened his eyes, "OK," he said. 

"May I take your photo? Let's appreciate each other today.  Thanks for what you have done to fix the dip in my running route.  More people appreciate it than you know.  Try attaching the paper and see what happens."

He smiled and I ran on.

I wonder what the sidewalk engravers will leave if he does attach paper for their writing?   Will he return to fix it again?  Did I meet Sisyphus today?

Creative Write:  Write about a recent day of  "interpretation."

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