Essay: Returning the Cart
It’s a cold, dark night and I’m sitting in my car in a grocery store parking lot, checking my phone. No answers to my emails, no confirming texts. I’m feeling discouraged and frustrated. Why can’t people be prompt? Be courteous?
I look up and notice an old man coming out of the store. He has a limp and is wearing shorts despite the chilly temperatures. Suddenly he speeds up and I see that he’s going after a runaway cart. It’s not even his cart, but he takes chase—zig-zagging down the pavement—until he grabs it and returns it to a nearby corral.
Then he limps across the lot to his truck and drives away. No thanks. No recognition. Caught in an act of goodness by the surveillance camera and a writer in her car. And somehow, this small drama redeems my day.
And I wonder who the old guy is and why he’s wearing shorts. Most of all, I wonder why he was inspired to rescue a wayward grocery cart?
I should have rolled down my window and hollered a thank you. Not only for the cart but for the reminder that the world is full of people doing the right thing—anonymous people returning my runaway despair to the corral.