Three Things at the Edge of the Yard

On a quiet street, there is a house at the corner. It has grayish-white vinyl siding, shutters the color of the sky just before a storm. Next to the house is a motorcycle with long, high cruiser handlebars that glow proud and full if the morning gives them even half a strand of light.

At the foot of the motorcycle is the yard, which wears baked, brown grass over uneven brown earth. And at the edge of the yard where the grass reaches the sidewalk there are three things.

They are always there. When the yard is iced and brittle, tender and green, covered in yellowed leaves.

A medium-sized steel mixing bowl. A plastic pitcher of water. And a big glass jar filled with dog biscuits.

Given for anyone and anyone's dog. No sign, no contribution box, no reason.

Walk to the corner of the quiet street one day and the pitcher has run dry and the jar has gone empty. Walk to the corner the next day and they will have been made full again.

Walk to the corner for years and years and years, at four in the afternoon or four in the morning, on a day that's glorious or a day that's brutal, and the three things will be there. Come as you are. Take as you need.

And if the morning isn't giving even half a strand of light or the day is a brutal one, remember, this is a world with a house on a quiet street. And at the edge of the yard where the grass reaches the sidewalk, there is kindness. Given for no other reason than to be taken.

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