Sometimes it’s easy to take the every day kindnesses for granted. Someone holds open a door for you, someone else lets you over in traffic, the grocery clerk double bags your milk, your mom’s church sends you a Christmas card even though you haven’t attended in nearly two decades.
In October I was in a really bad car wreck. Two out of the four cars involved were totalled and as the car at the back of the line I was held legally (and financially) responsible. For months I had trouble driving. My anxiety was through the roof and my therapist told me the only way to work through it was to, well, work through it. I had to keep driving. But little things would send me into a spiral: the sight of break lights in front of me, the sound of horns honking, the loss of control you feel when driving over a really bad pothole.
Earlier this week (Monday to be exact) I noticed a perfect, leaf-shaped, black hole in the lines of the parking lot. They just repaved and repainted the entire business complex, but a stray leaf decided to go out like Banksy.
I’ve been thinking a lot about that leaf-hole. It’s not just my work. The road leading to my office used to have two GIANT potholes that could nearly take out a tire. They fixed them back at Christmas. The subdivision I cut through daily has had it’s holes filled with gravel in anticipation of being next. Downtown they have cones redirecting traffic through the grid so that roads can be repaired one at a time. Even part of the Interstate was repaved last year.
The leaf-hole reminded me in its own way that, though my city has its problems as every major city does, they are actively trying to take care of their citizens. Kindness is shown in a lot of ways each and every day. My city taking care of the streets and parking lots makes my anxiety and by extension my life just a little bit better, and for that I’m grateful.