Last spring, Carolyn and I started running together every morning. Now that fall is well under way, it has been pretty dark when we get started. We run through neighborhood streets with infrequent traffic, and we keep an eye and an ear out for approaching vehicles.
This morning, during the warm-up walk part of our practice, a car slowed and stopped a few feet ahead of us. A young, black woman got out of the driver’s side. I expected her to ask if we’d seen a lost dog. It wouldn’t have been the first time someone stopped us looking for an escaped pet.
Instead, she said, “Excuse me. I drive past y’all every day, and I want you to have these.” She held out what I thought at first were two sparkly t-shirts.
“What are they for?” I asked. Given that it’s political season, I wondered if they were for a local political campaign. It would be an unorthodox way to drum up support, but whatever. I was wrong again.
“They’re to keep you safe,” she said, and handed us each an orange mesh vest with bright, reflective yellow stripes.
She doesn’t know us. Doesn’t know our names, our circumstances in life, nothing but that we are out before dark every day and that we might be in danger. So she did something about it.
Imagine if everyone were like her.