We have all been on the receiving, and perhaps at times, the giving end of a hand gesture. I am speaking about those of the anonymous nature. For example, when we are driving alone in our car, in a hurry, and not pleased with the vehicles either in front of behind us. We know that we probably won’t be identified, and so we proceed to gesture away. Or we are gestured upon and we either choose to ignore the invitation to duel, or we gesture back more emphatically. It’s a symphony of ridiculous proportions that we lob back and forth, until the light changes or our passenger perhaps, snaps us back to sanity.
And then there are those anonymous gestures of kindness: a snowstorm, sitting at your desk for 8 hours you watch as the snow piles up on everything outside. And your mind wanders to your car. The inevitable shoveling off of the trunk, hood, windows and mirrors. And if you’re lucky, the bonus scrape of the ice pellets. After shoveling for days, and now seated in your car with the motor running, impatient with the process, you put the car in motion and drive with your head parallel to the dash-board because the defrost has etched out just enough of space to see the road in front of you. But, then there’s the day when you exit the building to find that your car has been cleared. Not just the snow, but the ice has been scraped away. You think you’re being punked. You might even imagine a scene from a film you streamed the night before. You back up slowly, and press the unlock, thinking that it might just blow up. But, then it dawns on you. Someone took the time to care. Your feet tingle with the thought and then you realize you’ve been standing in a snow bank, perplexed. And so you get in the car and drive home. If someone is there to greet you, human or four-legged, you recount the story. And then you set out to do the same for someone else.
Anonymous gesturing… a whole world onto itself. Our hands are kind and cruel. The gestures, the same. A finger point, a wag, a poke or a soft reminder that part of being human is that we have these remarkable digits at the end of palms. And sometimes we make good choices.
I am sure someone more knowledgeable about the goings on in Sugar Grove, IL will tell me about this particular act of kind gesturing. The woman I see digging, scraping away the weeds and overgrowth for days at a time. But, I am really o.k. with it being anonymous. I’m talking about the magical display of wildflowers, the perfect melody of color and shapes. The meticulous care her hands take before the flowers even bloom. A mapping out of where to pull, what to leave behind.
I take pictures with my iphone, and so it is what it is. And even though the kind act can’t be caught with a digital experience, I decide to snap a few anyway because this marvelous act of hand gesturing is really beautiful. And because like a squirrel gathering nuts, I save the images for the cold winter days ahead, for the days upon days when the gesturing I give and receive is less than kind.