All along the routes I walk are left-behind mittens and toques and scarves propped on sign posts or wrapped around tree branches. This summer an infant’s pillow – a Spanish prayer embroidered on it in blue knit – was displayed for weeks in a bush, propped up again every time the wind blew it down. Sometimes there is a doll’s boot stood under a mailbox, or a cardigan draped over a park fence. Jackets are peeled from icy mud puddles and discarded socks are unburied from under hot sand.
So many contribute to these hanging things: parents who miss items thrown from heavy strollers while distracted by the catch-up of tiny tricycles; little ones too excited or spent to even gather their own flip-flops; those who bid pets to heel while fashioning a stranger’s clothing to eye level. That these finders and forgetters walk the paths at all is evidence of their caring: for self or planet, for children who need air, for dog who need walks, for families needing income from the jobs that are walked to. That these things are picked up and propped is just kindness piled upon kindness.
Evidence of humanity in a picked-up glove
confirmation that life is just a busy little web of busy little lives
piling care upon care.
And these propped up things evidence of tiny, found, love.