Thursday, September 19, 2013

Be brave. Do good

It is interesting (to me at least!) that when I sit down to write and I write a phrase like "I am not really a brave person" I find myself considering that characterization of myself...... "But, but"......I hear my inner voice say (you have inner voices too yes?) "You have been brave, you are brave.....you have courage".......and then I think..."No.... not really brave....not like "superhero" brave".

We all know I hate to shower when home alone.  Not brave.

But I did just overcome my desperate fear of biking to the point that I choose to ride now.  A little bit brave?

So I don't know how brave I am......

But this I know.

Picking up hitchhikers as a single woman in a car is just asking to have yourself kidnapped, tortured and left for dead in the wilderness. 

And if "they" don't kill you your husband/mother/father will when you tell them what you just did.

As I drove through the farm fields on the back route to the grocery store last night I saw some of the field workers making the long trek to the main road to find a bus.  

I know they have worked long days and mostly are not young people.  I see them in the fields with their big hats on at sunrise and here it was sunset and I thought they must be so tired.


And here was I in an empty car.

All alone.

So I drove past them.  

That sure stirred up the inner voices into a big old argument....... so as I rounded the next corner and saw three more field workers I had to make a choice.

I looked in the rear view mirror - no other vehicle - so no excuse not to stop. Two women and a man.  Older, looking tired, weather beaten......  I figured I could take them if they tried to kidnap me.

So I rolled down the window and asked if they would like a ride to the main road.

What ensued was a fairly hysterical pantomime that someone should have caught on film. 

They spoke no english.at.all

I spoke no chinese.at.all

They looked afraid, then perplexed as I made loud pronounced driving gestures and noises - "vrooom, vroom ...I  drive you......"

They peered tentatively into the car, with their whole heads, as I threw my car debris to the back.... "come come" I said...."you must be tired".

One lady started to laugh..... sort of hysterically..... a car came up behind me so I gestured more frantically for them to get in.......

So they did....... much nodding and smiling and still the one lady laughing ever more shrill by the moment..  

With all their bags in we drove towards the main road.  I decided not to try to get seat belts on them all.  I think they thought I was crazy enough already.

Oh man - how to discuss the drop off point now?....... lots of wild gestures..... I tried to offer to take them closer to home .....but as we approached the main road the tone of the gestures and the sign language (and the attempt to open the door while I was still moving) I got the picture they wanted out.

So I pulled over and with much bowing and nodding and the ceaseless laughter they got out - I think they said thank you .....a lot...... David confirmed later it was indeed "thank you" they repeated over and over.

We waved and waved until I pulled into the traffic.

And so my would be kidnappers were off.  Likely to re-tell this story at their own dinner tables with a totally different perspective..... I wish I was a fly on the wall.  

And so I was struck again that 
a) I am a little brave 
b) comfort zones need to be breached sometimes(well mine do) 
c) horror movies seldom play out in real life 
d) language does not have to be a barrier to kindness or to communication.

I don't know if it helped their day at all but it sure made mine.  

And isn't that exactly what happens when we give freely (if full of angst) of ourselves! 

Disclaimer: The reckless bravery of the writer is not an endorsement of such behavior in the general population and should not be acted on without appropriate personal inner voice agreement.

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