Bradley is a man who lives in my building and when I walk my dog I see him collects bottles and wears the same baggy sweater and sweats day after day. He looks like life is hard in his head. Sixty- two years of age he had been watering a small piece of grass outside my apartment building for months. When they built the new place next door they left all the land between the sidewalk and the road dug up and over the summer months. But Bradley planted grass seed under one tree and watered it daily. A former architect, he had diligently grew one small patch of grass about 3 feet wide under this tree and the tree began to blossom.
In late Sept, on my 30th anniversary of sobriety,
I decided to go out and practice gratitude for my life. I do this usually by noting what is going on in my neighbourhood. And Bradley was definitely part of the landscape. On this day, I introduced myself to him and congratulated him on his accomplishment.
His reply was, ” Its not right to thank me for. You help one tree you help the world.”
He then went onto explain the Gaia principle that we are all interconnected root wise and we affect each other. Each root is connected to the next and he told me about how we all work in sync with each other. Then he asked about me, and when I mentioned I was a writer he gave me a great recommendation of a book to read. John Lee’s Writing From the Body. I told him I would read it and give him my opinion. He stopped and laughed ” Opinion?!
Does this head need another opinion?”
No. No it doesn’t Bradley. Neither does my mind. I got to say, at this age I am decluttering.
Trying to surrender our opinions for a curiosity in others.
Anyway, I bought two copies of the book ( which ironically was written by a poet who had 30 years of sobriety too) I gave one to my son for his birthday and I told him this amazing story. Two weeks later, I walked out of my place only to discover the owners had sodded over all the dirt including his grass. I was heartbroken. I thought why? Why? Don’t they don’t know Bradley needs this land. As a Schizophrenic who has had so much stripped from him. His sanity, his friends, respect from people. I wanted to call the building owners and give them a piece of my mind.
When I saw Bradley the next day and told him how sorry I was that they wrecked the grass around his tree, he said, ”
It never was my tree. Its the world’s tree.” And then he brought out the hose and began watering the sod.
Let me know what you think and comment below!!!
This is an excerpt from my upcoming book: Window-Shopping for Good!
My writing is entirely funded by my readers – by you – to keep this a community-driven advertising-free collective space. If you find solace or inspiration or a smile in these words, consider making a small contribution to support the work I do.