I don’t know how it happened…truly. I was startled when I saw it…so abnormal, so awkward, so wrong. A beautiful crepe myrtle tree uprooted and listing. Around it, a swamp of breath-taking lotuses (lotii???), floating serenely, simply, correctly. I stopped at the little park to take some pictures of the lotus flowers because I had never seen them before, but I was more impressed by the tree. I wondered how it had happened and what would become of the tree. Could a strong wind blow it back down? Could it still siphon enough water to survive? Would it, in all it’s growth and grandeur, die?
My daughter and I stayed at the park for a while, taking pictures, smelling things, resisting temptation to touch the endangered lotuses…but I was still a little fixated on the tree. Several other families came and went, commenting on the tree and the flowers. And then a couple drove up in their simple sedan and got out in their simple clothes and the man looked at the tree and simply said, ‘Well, that’s not right.’ Then, he went over to it, cautiously stepping on the tilting marshy soil and simply pushed it back down. Just. Like. That.
He was not Thor or Hercules or Superman. He was just a normal guy, observing an abnormal thing, and wanting to make it right. And. He. Did.
Abnormalities surround us. Things that make us say, ‘Well, that’s not right.’ Hunger, illiteracy, injustice, hate, poverty, anger. Do we believe that we can do something about them?
Helena, in A Midsummer Night’s Dream, says of Hermia, ‘Though she be but little, she is fierce’. We are little in comparison to the world’s enormous afflictions, but we can be fiercely determined to right the wrong. And didn’t we learn that little song that says ‘we are weak, but he is strong’? Don’t we believe that greater is he that is in us than the that is in the world?
A normal man, in normal clothes, in a normal park righted a wrong. Will you be the one to do the same?