Our neighborhood school bus pulled into my street one afternoon recently. I happened to be behind it. There's a roundabout a few houses down, and the driver began to angle off the first right. In the middle of the turn, he stopped and fired up the bus flashers. A tiny girl climbed down the steps, passed in front of the bus, and began to head on around the circle, opposite his path. The bus driver waited, watching her walk toward her house. She shot a quick glance back before she turned into her yard and disappeared safely inside her front door. Only then did this driver, this member of our village who doesn't live in our village, swing his stop sign closed and allow his yellow cocoon to lumber on out of sight.
Our world can be tough and maybe never tougher personally than when we experience loss. But how many times then do others in our world step in to help. Without fanfare, our friends do what we need, sometimes things we don't even know we need. They wait. They watch. They make sure we know they're there. And they stick around until they're satisfied we're safe. Sometimes, somewhere along the way, we can return the favor.
I guess we're all on a school bus of sorts. Sometimes we're the driver and sometimes we're the passenger, and either seat can offer both opportunity and gratitude.
But I know one thing. I intend to flag that driver down one of these days and thank him. And in so doing, I am thanking a lot of people who have driven my bus for almost 10 years.