© 2024 Interlochen
CLASSICAL IPR | 88.7 FM Interlochen | 94.7 FM Traverse City | 88.5 FM Mackinaw City IPR NEWS | 91.5 FM Traverse City | 90.1 FM Harbor Springs/Petoskey | 89.7 FM Manistee/Ludington
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Essays by Karen Anderson: Good News

Illustration by Kacie Brown

I sit in my car waiting for the left turn arrow, listening to the radio. The same old stories of war and politics. Suddenly, a big metal box flies out of the back of a pickup truck crossing the intersection—one of the busiest in the city.

At once, cars in all four lanes stop while the driver of the pickup pulls over and runs to clean up the mess. Another guy parks his white van under the traffic light and jumps out to help. Together, the men haul the box to the curb and pick up broken equipment.

Meanwhile, the light changes from green to red, green to red, again and again. But nobody honks, nobody moves—even the drivers who can’t see what’s going on. They understand it’s a crisis and sit tight.

And somehow, I feel enormously cheered by what I’m seeing. I want to climb out of my car and thank someone, everyone! Here we all are, managing a difficult situation without anybody getting upset, without anybody telling us what to do. This is human beings at our best, I think. Self-regulating, capable, caring.

The bad news on my radio has turned to good news just beyond my windshield. Then traffic starts moving again and I make my left turn. Grateful—beyond measure—for this delay.

Karen Anderson contributes "Essays by Karen Anderson" to Interlochen Public Radio.