Monday, June 9, 2014

Free Lemonade and Kind Words

As many of you know, I am a bit of a hermit—socially speaking—but as of late, I have felt the desire to break free of my eremitic tendencies, that I might accomplish some good in the world and perhaps make a few friends along the way. While pondering this seemingly mountainous endeavor, an idea of stupendous proportions clobbered me right in the forehead, and being the spontaneous animal that I am, my plan was executed within a few short weeks.

My first task was to make this glorious sign:

"Free Lemonade and Kind Words"

I spent the next morning whipping up different batches of flavored lemonade: Lemonade, Pink Lemonade, Strawberry Lemonade, Tart Lemonade, etc., and also cut up lemon slices and strawberries for people to add to their drinks. I had a spot in the park all picked out in my mind, and along the way, stopped to purchase some ice and a big sun hat, but as I made my way to the check out stand, a six pack of bubbles on sale beckoned to me. How could I resist? It was an inspired buy.

After two long hours in the park of my own neighborhood, only one visitor had graced my stall: a guy from the bus station who obviously took pity upon me and drank six glasses of lemonade just to please me—which in my head seemed sure proof of my lemonade's superior quality.

At one point, a dark blue van filled with a wild brood of children drove by. They waved and shouted and I thought this could be it, but the driver never even slowed. It seemed I had chosen an area of town where few people had need of free lemonade or kind words, though I did get some curious smiles from drivers as they passed by.

Discouraged, I packed up my little shop and considered heading home, but never one to brook defeat, a sudden determination filled my chest. Soon, I was headed for juicier pastures and it was not long before I found myself at the trailhead of a biking path. Surely, hot, sweaty runners and bikers would yield to my delectable temptations. This time around, I left my fancy sign in the car and scrawled out a quick note, which I taped to the picnic table before going on a walk:

"Free Lemonade. Help Yourself!"

I also left the bubbles on the table for any takers. Before I had even made it around the first corner, some bikers had already stopped to partake, which gave me a small sense of self-congratulatory accomplishment. Down the lane a bit, I lounged on some thick tree roots and soaked my feet in the river. The water was nice and cool and the breeze lulled me to sleep under my giant sun hat. A while later, when I awoke, I found that I was covered in a light sprinkling of fluffy white stuff, which drew my eyes to the skies. To my great delight, the air was filled with whiffling flutters, a gift bestowed by the shedding of the cottonwood trees. It was a snowstorm befitting such a splendid June day.

After marveling at its beauty, its seemed best to go and check out the situation with my lemonade stand, lest the poison control squad arrive with many lengthy and unpleasant questions. Upon rounding the last bend, a magical sight loomed before me. The small clearing next to the river was filled with bubbles, floating up to meet the descending white flutters. Children's laughter rang out in pure mirth, while two parents refreshed themselves with liquid pink sweetness.

Unwilling to spoil this family's moment, I slid behind a tree and waited patiently for them to finish. My heart swelled with joy and my success could not have been more complete.

Although my day had not gone as expected—me, the assumed champion of keen and discerning comments, uplifting the masses—I had received something much greater in the wondrous miracles of the day: the enchanting flutters of the cottonwood trees, the loveliest nap a girl could ever ask for, and the euphoric squeals of small children chasing the uncatchable bubbles. Never was such happiness to be found anywhere. As always, the would-be uplifter became the uplifted.

Once I had safely emerged from my hiding spot, evening had started to settle. It was time to head home. After loading everything back into my car, I changed the sign one last time: 

"Free Bubbles. Help Yourself!"

Free Lemonade. Check. Free Bubbles. Double Check.

No words necessary

Wishing You Many Carefree Summer Days,

Eliott McKay
Spreading Joy, Writing Books

1 comment:

  1. Oh, thou of eremitic tendencies, I'm amazed at you once again. You planned to improve the world, had your plan sidetracked, and accomplished the feat anyway--while being refreshed yourself. Your blogs are a joy to read, and, as always, an inspiration.


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