Circling the block one more time, I decided I might actually make it to the meeting on time when I saw the car pull out of the spot directly in front of the building.
It meant I would have to parallel park though — not my best skill. The other option was to drive another four blocks to the lot with my kind of parking spots — straight on.
Parallel parking won out and I actually pulled off a respectable parking job.
Right on time, I bounced out of my car and headed to the meter, only to discover I had no change to feed it. Not one dime, nickel, quarter, nothing.
How could I have forgotten the meter?
My momentary win with the parking saga quickly faded into frustration as I hurriedly plundered the console in my car, looked between the seats and scanned the sidewalks.
How could I have not thought to bring change for the meter? Why did I not give myself more time so I could have walked from the free parking area?
On and on I went scolding myself until a man with a gentle spirit passed by me on the sidewalk.
Two quarters would make everything OK in that moment so I swallowed my pride, got his attention and asked if he might cover the price of my meter.
He didn’t hesitate nor did he linger. He put the two quarters in the meter, turned the knob and challenged me to do the same for someone else in need.
I thanked him and accepted his challenge — but I also determined I would take it one step farther.
Instead of having to be asked, I determined I would strive to be so aware of my surroundings and those around me that I can sense when there is a need.
My friend Janet advocates for this type of kindness as one way to share the Light inside us.
It might be letting the person with only two items go in front of you in the grocery line or allowing the car stuck behind the stalled vehicle back over into the flow of traffic, she says.
Maybe it is leaving a larger than normal tip. Or maybe it is feeding two quarters into a stranger’s meter.
Whatever it might be, our simple, kind gestures will always leave a lasting impression.
—Jennifer Davis Rash