About three or four months ago, I changed the route I usually take to work. I didn't change it because I found a faster or less congested or more scenic drive - no, I changed my route because I discovered the Waving Man.
The Waving Man is my pet name for a very old, very frail-looking, almost painfully thin, crepe-paper skinned septuagenarian who (I'm guessing) supplements his measly pension by working mornings as a crossing guard at an elementary school. This particular school is on a very busy highway - in fact, it is the highway that leads from the truck crossing at the Canada/US border up to the Trans Canada Highway.
Anyway, at the time I'm going by, there are no kids yet, but the Waving Man is always at his post, regardless of the weather, and he has a mission. The Waving Man stands on his corner and waves at every vehicle that passes by - he waves with an almost frenzied zeal, an unbridled enthusiasm that obviously has no strings attached. He waves at truckers, at minivan driving moms, at workers commuting to their jobs, at whomever happens to pass by.
And people wave back.
It's a cultural phenomenon that is rarely seen in larger urban/suburban centres, and yet here it is, on a street corner near me - and I've decided I can't live without it. Every morning now, I have to get my Waving Man fix.
Just to have my day kick-started with an anonymous friendly gesture, one where nothing is demanded or expected of me in return, has, to some degree, changed my days for the better.
But now school is out, and the Waving Man was not at his post this morning.
I know now, by September I'll really be jonesin' for some anonymous goodwill... Hopefully August won't find me breaking into someplace where they store universal goodwill - I'm pretty sure the government has it all locked up at a warehouse someplace around here...