Monday, May 15, 2023

Who could ask for more?

We have one of those little "leave a book take a book" libraries in our front yard. 

My son Michel and daughter Ria built it as a Mother's Day gift for my wife Helena more years ago than I can remember, but my love for the thing increases by the day. 

My dad used to say we make the word love do too much heavy lifting and he was right, so I try to save it for the real mccoy. So when I say love, I don't fart around.  

Yesterday afternoon, the library proved (again) why it qualifies. 

At about 4:00., I was sitting on a tiny gardening chair, behind the structure, pulling up weeds. It was cloudy, but the air was warm and wind-free. The Beatles’  When I’m 64  “Doin' the garden diggin' the weeds” – kept worming through my ears. (I'd read somewhere that McCartney was 15 when he wrote that song. How could he have known?)
SHHH IT'S A LITTLE LIBRARY: And early some mornings,
the filing system is dewy.

A man and woman who looked in their early 30s stopped in front of the library. At first, I kept pulling weeds, pretending to ignore the visitors but just itching for an excuse to talk. 

It arrived. 

The woman: "Lots to choose from here."

I watched her take a book and  said, "We love when people use our library. What kind of books do you like?"

Her: "Anything factual, like history."

Then she surprised me with, "What about you?"

Me: "Ah, well, I ah actually read everything...unless it feels like homework. If I have to read something, I won't like it. I hate homework. Same as working in the garden. If I'm told I have to do it I won't wanna but if it's my choice, it's fun."

I saw that she'd retrieved a book called Movies.

Me: "Looks like a find,"

Her: "I actually work in film. Rather, I used to."

Me:  "Not anymore?"

Her: "COVID. You wouldn't believe all the layoffs."

Me "What  was your job?"

Her: "I was an A.D. Ever hear of Handmaid's Tale? I worked on that"

Me: "You're not going to believe this but I worked on Handmaid's Tale, too. The guy who used to live next door was in the picture-car business. I had my big truck-licence so he got me work driving in the movies. And I did Handmaid's Tale."

Me, to the guy: "And you?"

Him: "Visiting, from Kuwait."

Me: "Kuwait? I've never meet anybody from Kuwait before. How cool is that?"

Her: "I'm from Iraq." 

Me: "Iraq! Look at you two! Iraq and Kuwait! Right here in front of my house in Toronto!"

Me, off on a rant: "Oh man. This is wonderful. My ancestors came here, oh, I don't know, six or five generations ago from Ireland and Scotland or England or some place and when I meet people like from Iraq and you from Kuwait, well, I have to tell you, I feel, like my heart is filled with."--and as I was thinking of the right words with which to complete my sentence, the sun emerged from behind a cloud--"warmth."

Him, as if rehearsed: "You two really did work in show business, didn't you? That timing was perfect. The sun shone at precisely the right moment. "

"You have no idea," I said "how much planning that involved. And it cost me a hell of a lot of money."

Him: "I bet."

Did I mention they both spoke perfect English?  

I love it. 

In case you're wondering, the moment the two young people left I  stopped gardening, came into the house and wrote down what happened. 

This keyboard has soil on it. The weeds can wait.



  1. Love this real action live story...this us the best ever

    1. I'm very grateful you took the time to read, much less comment. Thank you!

  2. Loved this, Peter. I think this should be published somewhere. :-)

    1. What a delightful compliment. Thanks so much. I'm always surprised by the little things that touch heart spots. One never knows.