Happy New Year
July 9, 2023
On New Year’s Eve afternoon I was driving into Cross River to pick up some dry cleaning. Along the way on Route 121, two cars in a row flashed their headlights at me. I slowed down, figuring a speed trap was up ahead. Rounding the curve, I saw there were no cops but a large lichen-covered tree limb shattered across the road. It would be precarious in my little Mini Cooper to get over this hurdle. I stopped.
No one was behind me, and I punched on my hazard lights, got out of the car to move the splay of branches out of the road. An oncoming car driver saw me, stopped and followed suit. Together this young man and I lugged one of the bigger limbs over the guardrail. More cars lined up behind ours and passengers got out of their cars and joined the clean up effort. Several cars back, a police SUV appeared with its siren lights on as if to protect our teamwork. In less than a minute everything was clear and everyone looked up at one another, smiling and sharing in unison “Happy New Year!”
At some unspoken level, we connected in this moment of kindness and support—what felt like a favorable resolution for the new year.