Daily News Columnist Del Stone Jr. was looking out the window the other day and saw something that restored his faith in humanity ... just a little.
I saw something beautiful one recent Sunday, something that restored my faith in humanity.
Just a little bit, anyway.
The windows here at the office overlook the Hollywood Boulevard side of town, where you can see many things: People buying carpet and floor tile at the store across the street, car accidents on Eglin Parkway just south of the Hollywood intersection, and a seemingly endless stream of homeless people or itinerate travelers wandering from the bus station to the Waterfront Mission or thereabouts.
It’s a slice of humanity as seen through a quarter inch of tinted glass.
As I glanced out the window that Sunday I saw something odd. A woman pouring water from a cup around a telephone pole.
Why the heck is she doing that? I wondered.
But she wasn’t just pouring water. The telephone pole stood amid a sea of asphalt. The asphalt did not quite reach the pole, leaving an inch or two of dirt exposed. In that exposed dirt, somehow, miraculously, wildflowers had taken root.
And she was watering them.
She was scooping water from a nearby puddle and pouring it around the base of the pole so the flowers could stay alive and keep blooming.
She looked like so many others I had seen go past that window — backpacks slung over their shoulders, their heads hung in weariness, the weight of the world seemingly on their shoulders.
Yet this woman had set aside her troubles for just a moment to not only stop and smell the roses, but to water them.
Amid the horror of mass shootings, climate chaos, political upheaval and the oceans and oceans of bad around us, this one woman with her life slung over her back in a skinny black sack was taking a moment to do this thing that spoke of the good man can be when he stops acting selfishly.
I’m going to plant flowers next spring.
I’m going to dig up flower beds and pull out the roots and turn the soil, and work in some cow manure and fertilizer and ground-up mulch. I’m going to have sets of flowers I grew from seeds, and I’m going to plant them and water them.
Because it is the simple acts of kindness, and unselfishness, that make us better people.
These days, I feel like I need to be better.
Del Stone Jr. is the online editor for the Daily News. You can contact him at 850-315-4433 or firstname.lastname@example.org