This blog is like Seinfeld. It's not really "about" anything.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

warm fuzzy on a chilly morning

Last weekend, I stepped out of myself long enough to volunteer with the Kiwanis Club for the 31st Annual St. George Marathon. In the hours leading up to the race, I almost backed out twice: Once at midnight when I arrived in St. George from a trip to New Jersey, and again 3 hours later when I had to awaken from a fitful sleep in order to be at the finish line by 3:30 am. Knowing it was 40-something degrees outside, I reluctantly dragged myself downtown and sleepily found my way to parking lot duty, sporting my reflective safety vest and 2 glow sticks. As the cars began to trickle (then POUR) into the lot, we guided them into perfect rows with surgical precision.

Ok, that's a lie. It was a bumpy, oddly-shaped dirt lot with no lines, 4 am, and I seriously wonder if there are still some people out there trying to untangle their cars from one another. But we had the best of intentions!

As I mentioned, it was a mite' nippy, but the fanfare with which we were waving drivers into their parking spots helped get the blood flowing. Then as the runners exited the lot on their way to registration, we were met with a kindness that warmed us even more. At least two dozen people walked past us with smiles that most people can't muster until at least 10 am, and they thanked us. "Thanks for volunteering!" "Thanks for being here!" These nice folks recognized that we weren't just out there due to our love for the carbon emissions smell in the morning. It was the sort of kindness that rubs off on you. The sort of kindness you want to spread around. The sort of kindness that makes you forget the fact that the 2nd toe on your left foot is frozen clear through and would require amputation.

I came away from this experience knowing 2 things for sure:

1) I need to be more grateful to those who volunteer for me. I never even think about who's getting paid and who's not, but I plan on sitting up, taking notice, and acknowledging the effort from now on.

2) I'm going to volunteer again. To have another great day like this, I'd give an arm and a leg. Or...maybe just a toe.


Blogger Brown Berry said...

Loved this!! I too will take more notice. And I would like to add to your's the sort of kindness that comes naturally to a wonderful person like you. ;)

1:57 PM


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