I have the day off. I woke with a dream…I’d say that it was a dream from God, meant to comfort. Maybe you haven’t had one of those, but our Lord gives them to me on a not-so-regular basis. Today I know that my dream was a gift. So, there you go. I felt as though I had a particular kind of courage for the day as I rolled out of bed and placed my feet on the floor. Think about it. Isn’t that such a powerful symbol when you put those feet down in the morning? There starts the gratitude.
I shuffled to the yellow chair. That’s where I get my grounding in the morning…lift up my day…ask for help…pet Max…give thanks…be. Usually I make my coffee before plunking there, but today I didn’t. Once up and at the counter, I stood there long enough to enjoy the aroma of those first drips of coffee into the pot and then I heard it!
…the revving on and off again, plunking and bumping of the garbage truck in the back alley and shocked, went into a panic mode about the absolutely filled-to-the-top black bin that cradled my garden clean-up leftovers! YIKES!! “WAIT!!!” I shouted to absolutely no one and tore to the back door, slipping on summer sandals along the way!
He was two doors down…his truck rolling along…his robot arms reaching out and embracing each black receptacle along the way! I waved my arms while simultaneously looking into the bin that I knew was stinking and pouring over with garden materials and last week’s bag of refuse from the kitchen. HEH! WAIT! I ran across the alley to see if the neighbours’ bins had been gathered up! They had! Like some sort of lunatic with a shopping cart, I spun the bin onto its back wheels and started running!
Did I even consider what this might look like to others? Absolutely not! Did I continue to wave my arms in the case that someone in that truck looked into a rearview mirror? You betcha! Were there any witnesses to this early morning event? Of course! One woman, bound for work and perfectly coiffed, was returning her emptied bin to its perfect spot by her perfect curb as I made eye contact, but flew past her.
I was gaining on the garbage truck! By this time I was two thirds of the way down the length of the alley. Within two lengths of his truck, he put on the brakes…came around…looked at me. And he smiled. Is it possible to fall in love with the garbage man…in a moment…a flash??? (just kidding). I begged him, “Would you please take my garbage? PLEASE!” Now…how pathetic does that sound? Would you please take my garbage? That is just a pathetic opening line! But…he smiled again…and said, “Move aside.” I happily watched the container lift into the air and empty itself into the opened mouth of the truck.
He said, “Have a great day.”
I said, “You too.”
And pushing my cart, I headed back to my back gate. By now, I was finally aware of my cold arms. I looked down at my pink leopard print pajama bottoms. I looked at the thin worn t shirt that barely covered me. I flashed back to the face of the witness. All of a sudden her body language made perfect sense. Becoming fully conscious, I hoped that I would make the return without meeting up with anyone.
The question came to mind, as I neared the house, “I wonder if I slammed the gate shut.” You got it! In fact, the gate WAS slammed shut in the initial frenzy. What about the shoelace that I had attached for such situations? Yes, you got that also! The latch and the shoelace were no longer one entity!
Reflecting back on Outward Bound days, I rammed the guilty bin up against the gate and without thinking, braced it and climbed up on top in order to break through to my own property. I’d be darned if I was going to walk back the length of the alley, freezing now, and in such dress, and then back up via the front street to my locked house, with yet another back yard gate that was standing in similar circumstances. The latch gave way and in I fell to the backyard, Max sitting at the back window staring at the calamity.
Here I sit…sipping coffee…waiting for my son to call. I could not help but write. I only wish you could experience the face of the witness…the warm humour of the garbage man (sorry, I think there is a more politically correct term for one of these, these days) and I certainly would like my ascent to the top of the garbage bin captured in film…but, instead…here are my words. Enjoy.
Sometimes when I think how good my book can be, I can hardly breathe. Truman Capote