Thoughts on those who go unrecognized for their deeds.
|He sits quietly and contemplates the darkening sky. Another day done, the ocean breeze cools his skin as he watches the last light catch the sails of the boats in the bay. The pink hues dim as the boaters begin to turn on their running lights. His eyes adjust to the deepening dark with ease. This is his place in the world.
What a day it was. Not like yesterday. Yesterday, he listened to the woes of the world. The drug dealers who ran the local kids off the street in fear. The child who was touched by the strange man and his woman in ways that made her feel dirty. The priest who was ready to turn to drink when he found the sacristy once again vandalized. The storekeeper who was afraid to open on Fridays because of the continuing robberies that occurred weekly around the neighborhood. The little boy whose bicycle was stolen. On and on it went. He held back his tears and listened, his to-do list growing as they spoke.
This morning, he rose long before dawn and set to his tasks.
As he sits by the sea, he can almost feel the results of his day. The priest walking into the sacristy ready to eradicate the spray paint and the trash, only to find it all done. The little boy coming home from school to find a new bicycle waiting for him, knowing he could ride it today because none of those scary guys were on the street for some reason. The storekeeper who feels safe for some reason, as if he knows the robbers aren't here anymore. The little girl looking out her window at the empty house next door, wondering what happened to the people who had made her uncomfortable for so long.
He sits quietly in the lingering darkness for a few moments longer, watching the waves lap against the shore. His muscles ache, and he knows that some day he will have to face his creator to be judged for how he lived his life. But not today. He turns his back to the sea, and sits back on the bench in the little park by the beach. He relaxes and closes his eyes.
The patrol car pulled up at the little park and the two officers got out and walked over to the statue. The younger officer looked to his training officer. "I'm telling you this statue wasn't here today. I'm sure of it." The older officer smiled and said simply, "This statue's been here for over 10 years, son. There are just days we don't notice it for some reason." The young cop just shook his head and began walking back to the car as his partner stood awhile longer. The sargeant's eyes narrowed a little as he looked at the statue. He knew what the young cop had felt. He'd felt it himself many times before. "I don't know who you were, or why someone carved your likeness and sat you here, but I always know when we'll have a good night." He hesitated a moment before heading back to the car, "Thanks" was all he could say.