“Do you need help?”
His voice rings out, jarring me out of my concentration. The path is steep, and my walker’s basket loaded. I cling to the railing with one hand and my walker with the other, picking my way toward the pathway below.
“Hang on, I’m coming.”
The young man is not waiting for a reply from me. He parks his bike and is sprinting up the path. Sizing up the situation, he decides what to do.
“Ma’am, I’ll take the walker down first, then come back for you.”
“I can do . . . I mean, help is always welcome, especially at my age.”
Down he goes. I watch him deposit my walker at the edge of the walkway, out of the way of bikes and pedestrians. He’s heading up again. I guess I’m the next to go.
“If you’re ready, take my arm and I’ll have you down in a jiffy.”
“This is so good of you. Do you specialize in rescue jobs?”
“No big thing, lady. I should be able to spare the time to give someone a hand!”
He puts on his helmet, picks up his bike, and gets ready to leave. A strange feeling floods over me. Something unusual, something very right has happened. Without thinking I call, “Would you mind coming over? There’s something I must tell you.”
“Of course, Ma’am – shoot.”
“Today a complete stranger helped me, with nothing for him to gain but the satisfaction of helping someone. The world has need of people like you. Don’t change.”
He looks a bit embarrassed but says, “It sounds funny, but today seems special to me. I’ll remember it.”
“As will I.”
We laugh, and wave goodbye. He goes his way. I turn and go mine.