I drive past a little white house every day on my way to work. The house is very small, with no yard to speak of, on a very busy 4-lane street. The house is like any other on that road, except for one thing. On the slender three-foot wide strip of dirt between the sidewalk and the street, is a garden. Not just any garden, a garden that in mid July takes your breath away.
Bright orange lilies sprouting from elephantine burgundy leaves. Hot pink blooms and globes of purple contrasting with burnt orange coleus and lime green vines. Giant stalks of something green with feathery heads bobbing in the breeze. No geraniums or petunias for this gardener. It is its own tropical island.
One morning as I drove by, I saw him working in the garden, an older man who looked to be about 70-something. I actually braked, thinking I would stop and compliment him. The car behind me honked, and that was the end of that idea. As I drove on I thought, I should tell this man how lovely his garden is. How much I enjoy seeing it every day and how his hard work brightens the whole neighborhood. And then it occurred to me.
I wrote him an anonymous thank you card. It felt good.
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