This morning, I went for a walk alone again. My wife Ruth is still not quite over her cold. I went armed with a few phrases in Italian, sent to me by a friend, hoping to see Colagero. He was no where to be seen, but as I was walking along, I saw another riverwalk regular. He's about Colagero's size, but looks considerably older. Like Colagero, he never speaks, but he always has a warm smile for me, even though he never answers my greeting of "Good morning." Sometimes he just reaches out his hand toward me as I am passing, and I reach over and touch his sleeve. He's there every day and does the full 3 and 1/2 miles, six inches at a time. It must take him tren thousands steps to cover the full length of the walk. When I passed him this morning I said, "Good Morning!," Buon Giorno!" and Buenos Dias!" He smiled broadly, tipped his cap and said "Buenos Dias!" That was our whole conversation. It was enough.
Later on the walk, I was walking by an old factory building and though I saw a man walking his dog. I couldn't see what he was doing clearly because there were bushes in my line of sight. When I got closer, I saw that he was trying to unroll a large wooden spool of thick, black electrical cable. He had about fifteen feet of cable lying on the long diriveway, but the cable was tangled on the spool and while he was trying to unravel the line, he was only succeeding in pulling the length he'd stretched out on the driveway. I walked over and put my foot on the end of the cable, so that he could get some tension on the line and continue to unravel the cable. He looked up briefly, but didn't acknowledge my help. He just leaned over and got back to work. In the meantime, another workman pulled up in a car and parked near where I was standing on the cable. He looked at me quizzically and I said, "I've got a very important job, here." He smiled and went down to help the man who was unraveling the spool. When the man finally stopped unraveling the cable, I took my foot off the end where I was standing and truned and continued my walk. There was no need for him to call out a "thank you!" to me. He had already helped make my day.
We can't win the lottery every day. But that doesn't mean we can't find blessings in the smallest things.