The other day, a woman I’ve never met e-mailed me because she’d heard about the Little Free Library I donated to a local mobile home park. She wanted to know how to get me some books for the library. I thanked her profusely and in true pandemic-habit mode, I told her she could leave them on my porch anytime that worked for her. She agreed.
Then I got to thinking about it. Here was a person who’d gone out of her way to locate some children’s books just for me, and I had suggested she simply deposit them at the door. I wrote back and said, “I’m not sure how busy you are, but would you like to meet for coffee instead?”
She happily agreed.
Funny how the habits we formed during the pandemic have been slow to change. And how easy it had become to allow COVID-19 to provide an excuse to cocoon. I’ve learned a lot about myself over the past two and a half years. I’ve learned that some of the things I thought I’d miss during that time of isolation, I never really missed at all. I have yet to go back to many of them and probably never will.
I also figured out how many things I took for granted and longed for during the pandemic. Even still, I have lacked the energy or will or courage to jump back into those things right off the bat. Lately, though, I’m coming back to myself. And I’m coming back to others. I’m remembering how good it feels to chat with strangers, to pick up items in person rather than having them delivered, and to take the time to buy coffee for someone who does something nice for you.
A friend was dropping something by my house today. She texted to see when I’d be home. I could have said, “Bring them by anytime and just leave it outside.” Instead, I told her a good time, then I took my tea and my book out to the Adirondack chair and waited to greet her when she pulled up. The sun was shining through the branches, the leaves were swirling across the flagstone patio, a neighbor waved on her way to the mailbox. And my friend arrived with a smile, a hug, and a gorgeous bouquet of flowers she brought me from her garden.
So glad she didn’t just leave it on the porch.
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