Tuesday, October 18, 2005

The Good in People

I know that when bad things happen it can bring out the worst in people. But not today.

Today I was driving to the reserve to walk the dogs. I came upon a man lying in the street. Seconds earlier a car had struck him as he followed the garbage truck collecting the local refuse. His coworkers were dialing an ambulance. A woman stood in tears shaking uncontrollably aside her stopped car near him and one of the workers was comforting her and telling her these things can happen. The other workers took off their jackets and covered their coworker and got a rolled towel to support his head. The man himself was awake and lying on his side unable to move the lower part of his left leg and foot. He was blind in his left eye and hadn't seen the car coming. He was in pain but calmly answering questions and staying still. I told him I was a nurse and did the three things a non-trauma nurse can do in that situation-keep him warm, keep him still and keep him breathing. A health aide stopped as well and brought a blanket from her car. A retired ambulance driver riding his bicycle had stopped to do what he could and kept the man chatting. What I noticed most was the support that the coworkers gave their mate and the comfort they gave the driver who was distraught. There was no blame ,no cursing , no yelling --in fact the absence of these things would be encouraging enough. Yet there was much more than that--there was comfort and caring among strangers whose only thing in common was being in the same place at that moment. The coworkers continued to comfort the driver saying that it wasn't her fault. The ambulance arrived. The injured man told me it would be alright and squeezed my hand. The health care worker waited with the driver supporting her while she waited for the police. People are amazing.

I drove away relieved the dogs hadn't eaten the car while I was gone and believing again in the good in people.

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

I am getting tough skinned

Remember when I told everyone that soon I will be 40 and I would really like to be a ski bum but my second choice was trying to write a novel. Well as I look back over my blog I realize it has become my practice pad for trying to develope some writing skills as that must come before the novel. So all thoughts, comments and critcisms for what works and what doesn't will be happily received. Please be honest and give me your thoughts or else I'll continue to write trite pieces. You have been warned...

Remind you of anyone??

I have seen trees that stand straight and tall; the maple, the conker tree, a mighty oak. I remember as a kid my arms would only just fit around their trunks. Rain, strong winds--even stronger hurricane winds and they will not bow. Their branches may sway and creek but their trunks stand firm. Their roots run deep from years of growing down. And the older the tree-the thicker the trunk, the bigger the branches and the less they sway.

I have seen trees that stand straight and tall; the pines. Growing taller before their trunks grow rounder, it seems that they are in a race to touch the sky. When the winds and rain come they sway as if dancing to music in smooth and liquid motion. Their roots run shallow reaching out over the earth rather than down.

I have seen trees that twist and turn taking many diverging paths but always moving up; the willows. Never do they seem to take the straight path to the light but get there by twists and turns avoiding this fence or that other tree. They mold themselves to their environment and become a tangled and gnarled mass of life and when mature they look weathered and wise. Their roots run deep and true for when cut down by lightning or saw they sprout again and within a years time are adolescents beginning their twisted journey again. When the wind blows their branches dance but their trunks remain firm.

I have seen trees that seem lost amid these giants;the beech trees. They do not try to touch the sky but relish the light. Their bark is skin like thin and in various states of peeling. They are white and scarred with trunks that never seem to thicken and draping leaves that move when bidden by the wind. They often are frail when the wind blows too hard but shelter in the midst of the larger conifers and survive.

When I look at the world I see whether we weather this life by standing resolute in adversity, swaying with the change, adapting to the times or sheltering in another's' strength, each one of us is rooted with the same needs, shares the same desire to survive and ultimately we all are reaching for the light.