Monday, April 27, 2015

The Metaphorical Tale of Public Transport, Bad Timing, and a Squirrel

I was waiting for the bus.
3:16. Someone carrying three shopping bags enters the bus shelter. 
3:19. A dog barks across the street. 
3:20. The blue bus puffs up, three people (including grocery bag guy) get on, two others get off. 
3:22. A group of high school cross country runners jog by.
3:25. The red bus pulls up to the station, exhaust floating out like breath. I get on, sitting closest to the window on the third row of second story seats. It pulls out of the station. 
I watch out the screened window at people biking, walking, running, driving, carrying, waving. 
There's no one else on this bus except the driver, a dirty-blonde-haired woman wearing sunglasses too big for her face. 
Two stops before mine, a squirrel runs into the road in front of the bus.
I see it just before it disappears out of sight from the windshield. The driver slows down a minuscule amount. 
The bus bumps over something in the road.
I'm not sure what it is. 
I study the driver's face in the mirror, trying to make out if it's guilt or sorrow or relief, but they call them "shades" for a reason.
In that moment, I considered going back later on that day to find out the fate of the squirrel. But I get swept away, in tides of homework and dance and chores. 
I don't think about the squirrel again until I'm lying in bed that night. It occurred to me how the driver slowed down. She showed that squirrel the tiniest bit of mercy, and it might have saved it's life. So that's all I'm saying today. Remember your empathy. Show your kindness. Because it's a big, scary world out there filled with unexpected busses and bad timing and sometimes, sometimes all it takes to save a life is a smile, a hug, a friendly word or two, or however minuscule, a tap on the breaks. 
You don't know what grand effects your actions will have until you try them.
Do unto others as you would like to be treated.
Believe there is good in the world.

More great inspirational kindness quotes here (Will soon be all over my room by the way)
Photo credit to Susan's Books and Gifts