Evidence of Sweetness
When I was growing up, Wednesday was trash day.
Every Tuesday night, one of my parents dragged the trash cans from the side of the house to the end of the driveway.
Every Wednesday morning, the trash collectors grabbed the trash cans, emptied them into the truck, and tossed them back towards our house.
And every Wednesday afternoon, our neighbor Chris gathered up our trash cans, reunited them with their lids, and placed them back at the side of the house.
He did it when the driveway was empty, when it looked like we weren't home. We only knew it was Chris because my mother once saw him when she was in the house and my father and I were out with the cars.
Chris didn't mention it when we saw him around the neighborhood on his bike. His was a quiet gesture to ease the load of another.
Which it did. In more ways than one.
When we turned into the driveway late Wednesday evenings, the headlights would illuminate the trash cans against the side of the house, and it was a relief. But more than that, it was evidence that sweetness existed.
It took Chris all of 30 seconds to do it every week, but I still remember it years later. Still feel how it softens my behavior towards sweetness when I come to my childhood house and the trash cans are where the trash collectors left them.
And it's remarkable that with 30 seconds, we can ease the load of another, can remind them that sweetness exists in this world, can incline them towards sweetness for years to come.