Bring Your Shovel

I was on the trail the other day. It was unseasonably beautiful weather, and I had time on my hands. No rush to finish. I laced up my 👟shoes and loaded a podcast. Even though the ☀️sun was shining and the temperature was high for January, I seemed alone on the trail.

In the distance, I saw a figure moving in a way that I couldn’t figure out. 🤔 It looked like someone was holding something. As I moved further down the trail, I realized it was a man with a shovel. I’m used to seeing 🏃🏻‍♀️ runners, walkers, 🚴🏻‍♀️ bikers, strollers, pets- you name it. But a guy with a shovel? On a trail?❓Was he burying something? Cleaning a mess left by his 🐶 dog from an earlier walk?

You might think that I should have turned around. I didn’t feel concerned, though. I don’t exercise outdoors without staying aware of my surroundings.🧐 I use one Airpod to hear noises and scan the area the whole time. That’s how I noticed the guy in the first place. Besides, it didn’t seem menacing- just curious.🤔 So, I kept going, and I’m glad that I did.

What I saw made my day!🥳 The guy with the shovel was filling a hole. Yep- filling a hole. There’s been this giant hole in the middle of the trail for months! It’s tough for anything with 🛞 wheels. Runners and walkers could easily turn their ankles. But those of us who frequent the trail have just learned to avoid it. ❌ We know where it is, and we just go around it.

Not this guy. He did something about it.‼️ Dressed in blue jeans and a sweater, he came with his shovel to fill that hole. Why? He told me that he wanted to take care of the trail.🤩 He smiled and told me to enjoy my day as he shoveled more dirt into that hole. When I returned to that spot on my way back, it was difficult to see where the hole had been! The guy with the shovel not only filled the hole but he also smoothed it over so that it matched the trail’s gravel surface.👏🏻

There are good people out there! 🙌 People who bring shovels to fill the holes because they want to help. I think we all need to look for the holes that need fresh dirt and fill them. Anyone can show up to care for the proverbial trail. We don’t have to wait for someone to ask. Just bring your shovel.💖

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