Country Road, Take Me Home – with a little help!
Don and I live on a main alternate thoroughfare in the hills above Capitola Beach. So when our road gets blocked, it impacts a lot of traffic.
Our recent rains have created lush green hillsides. Trees arch over the road creating a leafy tunnel effect. It’s a beautiful drive and one I never tire of. The rains have also created some mud and tree slides.
I drove toward home Friday in pelting rain, pulling to a stop behind the red taillights in front of me. A large truck faced us on the other side of the road. Pulling out my umbrella, I got out of the car. The truck driver was on the phone with 911. “I saw the tree wavering and pushed through to get past it. It fell on the back of my truck and onto the road.” Fortunately, no damage to the truck or driver. But the tree blocked the entire road.
Cars began to line up on both sides of the blockage. I walked to a few cars and told folks what had happened. Men got out of their vehicles and went to help. The truck driver attached a line between truck and tree in an attempt to pull it off the road. The base of the tree was about 24″ in circumference, and he wasn’t gaining much traction. In the pounding rain, other men tried to break off branches to clear the road. As one rain-slickered person walked by my car, I asked whether a chainsaw would help. “Well, yeah, it would.” I called Don, at home about two miles up the road, and asked him to bring his.
By the time Don arrived, just a few minutes later, traffic had built up so he had to park about a quarter mile away, then walk up the road with his chainsaw. When he got to the downed tree, he was a bit bushed. A young man took a look at him and said “Hey, can I take that from you?” Another neighbor had arrived with tractor and chainsaw, so two men sawed the branches while the others moved branches to the side of the road and dropped them down the hill. When they finally cut through the tree base, the tractor driver pushed it back off the road.
I asked Don if he wanted a ride back to his truck. “I’ll walk.” But I chuckled later when he told me at least three women offered him a ride on his walk!
What was meaningful to me was the sense of community, of cooperation, of appreciation. During the 45 or so minutes it took to clear the road, no one honked. No one waited for the county or State to show up. Men just worked cooperatively to get the job done. It was a special moment. And as we drove away I saw others who, like me, waved and expressed our thanks to the team who’d come together to remove an obstacle.
Sorta like the Church when we’re acting as Christ taught us–reaching out to help each other, loving each other and lifting each other up.