If you’re a regular 50 Good Deeds reader, you’ll remember that Tuesday is garbage pick-up day on my street. And yes, hold on to your hats, I’m about to launch into another discussion about rubbish and its relationship to kindness.
This time, it has to do with the mysterious helper who drops in at our driveway once a week. Specifically, the (presumable) neighbour waits until our garbage bin has been emptied by the city truck, sneaks over and wheels it partway back to our garage.
I say “sneaks,” because I’ve never seen the mystery wo/man in action. But I’ve actually heard this happening most Tuesdays. It’s hard to miss it: The mega-sized plastic bins that every Toronto household is now obliged to use for refuse are not light on their wheels. And if you live in this city, you’ve probably grown accustomed to the rumble-against-asphalt that’s the telltale sound of one of these bins being dragged from storage spot to pick-up spot and back again.
So almost every week I’ve half-listened to the sound of this good deed going on, while I’ve been working at my desk or making a phone call. And almost every week, when I go outside later to find the bin retrieved on my behalf, I realize that I’ve missed the good Samaritan once again. And I wonder anew who the kind soul might be.
We are in fact blessed with the world’s best neighbours, so it could be any number of people. But few are actually bustling about outside at that hour of the day. I like to think it’s one particular couple who live close by, have few friends on the street and keep to themselves. They’re home all day, so they’d have ample opportunity to commit the secret act.
But these two are not exactly gregarious, and aren’t known in the neighbourhood for their crusading kindnesses. So what makes me suspect it could be them? I guess I like to think that everyone, even the most reclusive, has it in them to commit a small thoughtful deed. And it proves we’re all connected, even in a most minor way. I’m happy to keep considering that possibility.
Sure, I could keep an ear open every Tuesday for that familiar rumbling sound. I could dash outside the moment I hear it, and I’d have my answer. Next week, maybe I will.
But today… I don’t think so.