Our street has seen a lot of construction work this month. And with this work comes a parade of tradespersons’ bulky vehicles, expanded variously with trailer hitches and stepladders and hoses, and parked around the worksite like there’s a party going on. Last week, a string of trucks and vans lined a section of the road that has no sidewalk. That didn’t leave much room for drivers and pedestrians to share the road. As I went for my usual morning walk and began passing these parked vehicles, I met a school bus coming the other way along the considerably narrowed street.
Not wanting to risk a flattening, I stepped into a convenient driveway and waited for the bus to pass. I enjoy it when drivers and pedestrians – or drivers and cyclists, or drivers and fellow drivers – make a little extra effort to get along, and then acknowledge that effort. You know what I mean. One person or the other nods, or puts up the palm of their hand in that universal “thank-you” gesture. It’s a moment of recognition, of connection.
This bus driver looked out his window at me as he drove past. But instead of nodding or showing his palm, he raised a hand and doffed his cap to me. Yes, really. I was delighted. Cap-tipping as salutation may have been in style a hundred years ago, but it’s rare nowadays. Made my day, it did.