I used to drive to a lot of places in the New York City area, but lately I chose to go by rail. It is an expansive experience.
One time at the train station I stood with a group of commuters looking at a big-lighted board giving train destinations and track numbers.
Not quite knowing what to do since this was my first time going to this destination, I asked a stranger standing next to me where do I get a ticket. He offered a couple of options and volunteered to take me to the ticket vending machine and helped input all the data needed.
Bravo stranger, even though I know not your name, your service to me was a reminder of what all of us must do to help known and unknown neighbors and strangers, not only when asked, but when not asked.
The environment is a predominant observation on my rail sojourns. The window is my seatmate. I see trees in winter storage or fully leafed and growing in the most inhospitable places between track and fence, between rail and stone, between cement and junk. Amazing.
The lesson of the trees is the same as the stranger who helped me beyond the asking.
These trees set an example of service to all humans. They stand not in a place to display their leafy or naked glory. They are tucked behind buildings and sheds and few people ever see them even though they may look at them.
In their growth and growing place they are deformed by the proximity to man’s fences, walls, and concrete surfaces, yet they stand to serve in the simplicity of a symbiotic relationship. Our CO2 for their O2.
What a gift of life.