I have always liked the word “serendipity.” Even better — serendipitous. This week I can use the word.
While sitting by the river this past week, I had a serendipitous encounter. A young mother and her son happened by and found their way to the river’s edge. The mother soon reached down, overturned a couple of rocks, and came up with what I call a water snake. From a previous column, readers may remember that I don’t really like snakes. In fact, even pictures of them give me the heebie-jeebies (yes, that word is in the dictionary).
With the wiggly little snake wrapped around her hand and son wide-eyed, she looked up at me and said, “I love being a boy mom!” I replied that I raised three boys myself and had many a water snake experience.
They made their way up the riverbank with the snake in tow. Once on the grassy lawn, mom stooped down to a 3-year-old eye level and explained to the boy about the snake. “Do you want to hold him?” she asked. “He won’t hurt you.” Now the tike had the snake crawling around his hand as he listened to his mother’s teaching moment about the tiny reptile.
The snake soon slipped out of the boy’s grasp and slithered through the grass. The duo decided to set the creature free and put it back in the river. I couldn’t help but snap a photo of the precious moment and offered to share it with the mom.
“Oh,” she said, “that would be wonderful. I am a single mom and very seldom have a picture of us together.” She was very appreciative and commented that such kind gestures give her faith in humankind. She sent a text later, “Thank you so much! It was nice to meet you, ma’am … You made my morning.”
I told her about this column and that I am always looking for content — maybe she and her son could be my subject this week. She was thrilled with the idea and gave permission to use the photo. She told me their names: Brittney and Finnley.
Such a simple moment in time, but a satisfying reminder of the importance of small gestures of kindness that may make a positive difference in another person’s day. Serendipitous: occurring or discovered by chance in a happy or beneficial way.
Mazama was bustling with helpers this past week. While horseback riding on the newly reopened Big Valley Trail, we heard extensive chatter coming up behind us. What could that be? A bevy of beauties riding in the back of a Methow Trails truck came around the corner. I recognized a Mazama face or two as they drove past and realized that they were all out helping with trail cleanup/repair.
At the Mazama trailhead on a subsequent day, at least a couple dozen young people were stuffing garbage bags. With what, I wondered, and who were they? I asked a young woman who appeared to be in charge and learned that she, Michaela Precourt, is the new Bush School Methow Campus Program Manager and the kids were removing noxious weeds from some of the Methow trails. With a pickup load of bags of knapweed to haul off, they were doing a terrific job.