Everyone who runs or walks or bikes knows that they see the world differently. Sometimes this yields a found treasure. I found a $5 bill while out running in East Providence RI one day many years ago. To a grad student $5 was serious good fortune. Since then I have found tools, a bra, gloves (usually not in pairs), blinkie lights, and other oddities. I did not take the bra home, in case you are wondering.
For the last 15 months I have been carrying a secret in my wallet. It is a $100 bill that I found on the street in front of my house one morning in September 2015. I found it along with two $20 bills. Since 20s are routine occupants of my wallet, I spent them, but the $100 bill stayed put. This isn’t my money. It probably fell out of the pants pocket of a worker on a paving crew that went through my neighborhood that week. There was no crew around this particular morning so there was no way to re-unite the money with its owner.
So I kept it. For 15 months the $100 bill has served as a reminder of what incredible good fortune I have in life. And I have felt oddly obligated to find a proper place for it ever since.
Six months before finding the money Klarence, someone whom I barely knew, came into my life out of the blue and picked me up when I was down. I am not a religious person. Nor am I prone to bouts of spiritual mumbo jumbo. Still I think of these two random events this way: God or the Universe or Fate or some other woo woo thing bigger than me is telling me how lucky I am to be healthy, to be free from need, to be loved.
As longtime readers of this blog are aware, I know of a disturbing number of people who have been hit by motor vehicles. One is Mrs. Rootchopper, who, like perhaps a dozen other friends of mine, survived the ordeal with months of painful recovery. Another person, the best friend of a friend of mine, was not so fortunate.
And then, last week, it happened again. This time to Rosemarie Cruz, a mother of four. She was struck and killed by a driver who “failed to yield to a pedestrian.” What a dispassionate way of saying that the driver ran her over.
I didn’t know Ms. Cruz, but ever since I heard about her I’ve thought of that the $100 bill I found in the street. I believe it has finally found its purpose. I am swinging by the Del Ray fundraiser, Rally for Rose, Tuesday night so I can donate the money to the support of her daughters. (The fundraiser link above has a link to an account for donations.)
Now here’s what you can do. Make a resolution in 2017. If you find money during your self propelled adventures, set it aside. Then, when the moment is right, donate it to someone less fortunate than you. It won’t be all that much, but you never know what happens when you throw a few pebbles in the water.