I live in a small, rural town of 1,800 people. We have a Grange, two churches, a town hall and a village store (with the post office attached) all around a town green smaller than a baseball diamond. Working in Manhattan, I don’t get to appreciate is as much as I would like; I’m just not there that much. But this Saturday, I had something that I needed to mail certified so I drove down to our little Mayberry post office. The green and the strip of land in front of the Village Store were alive with the work of the local Garden Club. The daffodils were up and the beginnings of the other spring bulbs were showing – the tulips and crocuses and what-not. The Village Store was doing a brisk breakfast business. The parking area out front was full with the strange, local mix of luxury sedans and beat-up pick-ups. People were coming and going from the post office. In a rural area like ours, many people have boxes there. Too many private mail boxes get taken out by the snow plows in the winter. It’s also a place to see your neighbors and chat for a few minutes.
I parked the car and just stood there for a moment smiling at the scene around me; a scene that, except for the make and model of the cars, probably hasn’t changed much in 100 years. I felt that I was a part of something real and substantial. Whatever else is going on in the world, places like this just keep on, going about everyday life like it has always been.
I went inside and stopped at the table in the P.O. box area to fill out the certified form. On the table was a basket filled with small scrolls of colored paper with a sign that read “April is poetry month. Please take one. Compliments of Burnham School Students”. Burnham School is the town’s elementary school and one of the best in the state.
I took a scroll and slipped it into my bag. When I finished my business, I returned to my car and got in. I took out the scrool and opened it up. It was a poem about Spring written by third grader Lindsay. A photo of the poem is below. I ripped it a bit trying to flaten it out.
Thank you Lindsay. Your poem made my heart smile. I folded it up and slipped it into my organizer. I will carry it with me and when I need a reminder of how sweet and innocent life can be, I will take it out and read it. And I will remember that you only need to be willing to say yes to the gifts life offers to keep a smiling heart.