July 24, 2024

News reporters, broadcasters, podcasters and all-news-all-the-time channels tell us the world is a rotten place. To quote an old adage: “If it weren’t for bad news, we’d have no news at all.”

Bad news is essential for the news industry. It’s the IV bag keeping the patient alive, the fuel in the engine, the caffeine in the coffee.

And so the drumbeat continues, in print, on the tube and on blue screens glowing in the dark illuminating our faces. Then, just when you’re about to be swept under by the approaching tidal wave of defeat and resignation, someone comes along and proves ’em wrong.

I have proof.

I often walk a trail a short drive from where we live, mostly for exercise, but partly for the quiet to see if I can still hear myself think. Once you pass through the tunnel under the interstate, and beyond the roar of trucks and traffic, you are engulfed beneath a canopy of maple, elm and yellowwood.

Squirrels chatter, barred owls call to one another, and on one occasion I caught a possum napping in a tree. Or maybe the possum was playing possum. I saw a deer last spring, not more than 10 feet away, just standing, watching, taking it in, enjoying the view. Tulip trees, redbuds, lilacs and serviceberries.

The trail is popular with walkers, runners, moms and dads pushing strollers, dog walkers, couples strolling, cyclists and even cross country teams. There are no giant TV screens or enormous speakers anywhere, only the chirping of birds, an occasional dog barking or a fellow traveler saying hello.

Finished with the trail and headed home the other day, I reached into my pocket to pull out my driver’s license and credit card, which I always carry. One is for identification, the other for a grocery store I pass on the way home. My driver’s license was there, but the credit card was missing.

I had a sudden knot in my stomach. Maybe I had left the credit card at home.

The sick feeling continued growing on the drive home. It was a mix of worry and dread sandwiched between two very thick slices of “I can’t believe I did that.” The credit card was not at home.

I headed back to look for it, even though I was reasonably confident someone had probably already found it and was on a shopping spree. I began wondering what I was buying when my cell phone rang. It was the credit card company. Someone found my card.

“Was it on a trail?” I asked.

“Yep. A woman walking her dog. She called to report it and asked for your address so she could drop it off. We don’t do that for privacy reasons.”

Naturally, I asked for the contact info of the woman who found it so I could thank her, make her dinner, make her dog dinner, paint her house and anything else she wanted.

She couldn’t give out that info either, but she sounded as excited as I was to connect a lost card with the owner.

I wonder if I passed the woman who saved the day. I wonder if we said hello. We may not always know who or when or where, or even have a chance to say thank you, but there are still good people doing good things.

Copyright (C) 2022, Tribune Content Agency, LLC. Portions copyrighted by the respective providers.

This story was originally published March 5, 2024, 3:00 AM.

source: star-telegram

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