I won’t lie. It’s hard to be an optimist. I guess real optimists don’t say that. They probably say they welcome the days they can reject pessimism.
Although I see wonderful things around me every single day, I’ve found it difficult to savor them lately. Perhaps it’s the weather, the dead of winter, the long days where I sequester myself inside to spare me from the cold. Perhaps it’s the realization that I’ve lived half my life and that suddenly I have to catch up on all the things I haven’t done, and I haven’t even figured out what’s on that list.
I admitted to someone yesterday that my patience for humanity was running thin this month. In my job as mayor, it seemed that I was getting a lot of emails with complaints; why didn’t the town plow their street, a certain stoplight stays on red too long, why did we allow a certain business in town, why did we not have a leaf vacuum, a neighbor’s dog relieved itself in a different yard, people judging others without knowing them…. All of the complaints were valid to those individuals, but I freely confess that the weight of them felt heavier in February.
And then it snowed. And despite the inconvenience to some, despite another day of school out of session, despite the slippery spots in the road and the frozen pipes and the one power outage and the cloudy skies, the sun came out.
I merely asked people to post their snow pictures and they came in,
Huntersville residents, you brought the sun. I went out a little while ago to simply drive around, do an errand or two and check on our roads. As I headed home on Stumptown Road, a young woman with a South Carolina plates on her car had somehow ended up in the ditch on the wrong side of the road. As I slowed down, another couple and a young man had pulled over and walked over to help the young woman. She was stuck, very definitely stuck in the mud and snow and slush.
I, too, pulled my car over, thinking I could help push or pull or stop traffic and as I walked over, another man in a white van stopped and got out. In a Hispanic accent, he said he had a tow rope in the back and he would help. He opened the back of his van, brought out a tow rope and a jack and began lifting the woman’s car so the other two men could attach the tow rope.