Lengthy post, I know. But it's a really good story...
This morning, on my way home from dropping my daughter off at school, I observed an elderly lady pushing a buggy across the busy intersection in front of me. When my light turned green, I noticed she was really elderly, and my heart gushed with sympathy. It was also raining. Each block I drove further away, my brain battled my heart. Brain: Hey, mushy-heart, what if she hits you over the head with her cane and steals your car? Huh, then what will you do? Heart: Get serious, over-active brain!
Four blocks and four stoplights away, my heart conquered my brain, and I turned my car around, heading back to find her. I searched the sidewalks, and found she'd walked onto a side street. When I approached her, I rolled my window down. She looked.
"Do you need a ride somewhere?"
"Are you sure?"
She glanced down at her cart, a flimsy wire basket with a cloth bag suspended with clothespins. "No, I have too much stuff in here."
"Oh, that's okay. It'll fit in my backseat."
She shook her head. "No, thank you."
"Where are you headed?"
(There is a park right around the corner from where we were.)
"But it's raining."
"I like the rain. Besides, I need my exercise."
"Are you sure? It's no problem."
"Yes, but thank you for asking. Be safe."
She tells me, in the warm, dry car, to be safe. I glance in the mirror to make sure I'm not blocking traffic and catch a glimpse of myself. Morning messy bun and no make-up. Frightening. Maybe her brain was screaming, stranger danger!
"Well, okay then. Be safe, too." And I drove away, wondering if I should go back and insist. But at that point, I had to trust I'd done my best. I certainly didn't want The Cane protruding from her cart!
Now, you may be asking yourself, what in the world does this have to do with writing? Well, in light of it being my monthly post for the Insecure Writer's Support Group, hosted by author Alex Cavanaugh, I found this situation fitting.
Fear. Fear of trusting others. Fear that if we reach out, we'll be turned down or worse, wounded. And in the writerly world, fear of putting ourselves out there. Letting others read our work. Submitting our treasured, polished gems. Sometimes, we just have to take the chance. We'll never know if we don't try.
In my case, letting go of my fear and turning my car around to assist someone. And in her case, letting go of her fear, and trusting that there is still good in this world.
Sometimes, you have to take a leap of faith, hop in the car, and enjoy the ride.
~Have a lovely, writerly week, y'all.
*Note: My apologies go out to Nick Wilford. I was so wrapped up in my own stuff I forgot to participate in your blogfest. *hangs head* Just saw another blogger's post about it :(