Our culture of kindness

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To the Editor: 

Sunday morning, the landscape crisp in all its magnificent white, I snowshoed out to the road to assess conditions in my immediate neighborhood from the blizzard. My neighbor across the street was uneasily shoveling the end of her driveway. A senior, like me, thought she had taken on a big task. Our age allows us to think we can still shovel like someone half our age. She and I were chatting across the empty Edgartown Road when a very big tractor with a very big plow was slowly approaching from the East. I flagged the driver down and asked who he was, expecting him to be the person I had employed for the task, but was unclear when to expect. 

He answered, “I’m a guy with a Bobcat.” I asked if he had time to plow me out. He said sure, and scooted his massive machine over to my neighbor’s driveway, where he handily cleaned up what would have taken her much of the day and many hot baths, before he proceeded down my long driveway. I snowshoed to meet him on the way out my drive and asked what I could pay him as I delved into my pocket. From way above me in his tractor throne, with a warm smile he said, “Nah, you don’t owe me a thing.” I was so speechless, I hope I was able to thank him. So goes the kindness of strangers on Martha’s Vineyard. Thank you! Thank you!

Harriet Bernstein
West Tisbury