Something wonderful has been happening in our neighborhood. Until recently the mailboxes have looked a bit weary–weathered posts, including some hit more than a few times by lawn-mowing crews, and topped with rust-spotted mailboxes. One day our neighbor from across across the street decided to repair the chunks taken out of her mailbox post, sand it down, and paint it. She took great care to match the original paint color and the result is terrific!
But then she had extra paint. You can’t let a can of perfectly good paint go to waste, so she enlisted D’s help to execute her brilliant idea. Why not restore our mailbox post (which includes the mailbox we share with another neighbor). Unfortunately, our neighbor’s box was quite rusted, but D. easily solved that problem with a can of Rustoleum and some new adhesive mailbox numbers. Again, a satisfying outcome. We were sitting by the kitchen window when she returned home and did a double-take when she paused to open her mail box, as if to say, “Do I have the wrong box?”
The next step was logical: go up and down the street painting other people’s mailboxes. Most of the neighbors, when asked, expressed surprise and delight to know that someone wanted to make their mailbox post look better. One woman hugged K., while another offered to make a pot of chili for the painters.
The act of painting mailboxes also fosters a sense of neighborly connection. K. and D. got to know each other a bit better as they painted, and they found themselves chatting with curious passersby. People seemed to take pride in how well the street looked, and for this brief moment, the world seemed brighter, a little friendlier, a place where people will do something nice without expecting anything in return. How are you brightening your little corner of the world?
P.S. In case you were wondering, I was digging dandelions!