Dear Welsh Corgi Lady,
For the better part of this past year, I have seen you and your furry companion, walking around my neighborhood. You have probably been walking these roads much longer than I have been paying attention. Now that I am aware of you, it seems I see you at least once a week. When I haven't spotted you in a while, I find myself wondering where you might be.
I remember the first time I took note of your routine, I was walking my own dog on Congress Street and the two of you were up ahead of us. You had a bag with you that I assumed was for your dog's business, but that wasn’t what it was for at all. You were sauntering along, picking up pieces of garbage from the sidewalk and stuffing them inside. Wrappers. Cans. Paper. On that day I assumed the lawn you were tidying up was your own. I breezed by you on the road and didn’t think of it again...
...Until I saw you a few weeks later, walking an entirely different road. Picking up garbage along a completely new stretch of sidewalk.
I’ve seen you on Rosenfeld and I’ve even seen you on North Vine. Always with your Corgi leading the way and you with a small bag of picked up trash in hand.
It’s amazing to me. You are amazing to me.
In a world that is increasingly “me” oriented, where we all keep close track of “who does what for whom” and what we’re “owed,” there you are. For whatever reason, you have decided to make the places you frequent better for all of us. It’s not your candy wrapper or your McDonald’s cup, but you pick it up anyway. It’s not your job. You don’t get paid. There’s no chance of recognition and no award in it. Who does that anymore?
Aside from this bigger social picture, it simply warms my heart. Your act is inspiring. It's how I want to imagine my community, filled with people like you. It's how I'd like to evolve myself, because even what looks like a small deed, makes a difference. Acts of kindness don't always have to be coordinated mass events, they can be simple and helpful.
And not that you need it, but I wanted you to know that I noticed and thank you for your everyday kindness.
I’ve thought about approaching you. Considered ways of talking to you that don’t involve me freaking you out for fear that I’m some strange stalker. I wanted to run a picture of you with this letter but of course, since I've been actively looking for you, I can't bump into you anywhere.
But I’m hoping that you read Patch. Or, someone you know, reads Patch. I hope they recognize this description of you and they send it your way.
Today, I will complete a good deed. And tomorrow I will do it again. Thanks for the inspiration.