So I’m waiting for my washers to finish so I can claim a dryer in the Marathon City Dock laundry room, listening to other cruisers discuss what we all discuss all the time … weather. Not an uplifting topic for those of us waiting on a window to go north and confronted with cold front after cold front … preceded by strong squall lines, one after another. Being “stuck” in paradise is a “problem” I have yet to cope well with…
Out of the corner of my eye, I see a little old man that deserves the title “Ancient Mariner” … with a mid-length white beard, dressed in blue shorts and a white shirt … his white cap jauntily perched on the top of his white hair … he’s making his way slowly, a step at a time, toward the laundry room. Not carrying any laundry, I’m thinking maybe he’s one of those with dry clothes in the dryers. If he empties his dryers, maybe there will be room for my stuff. Not exactly nice thoughts on my part…
When he finally makes it to the laundry room, he’s smiling and hands me the most beautiful coral double hibiscus flower I’ve ever seen. That’s all, that’s it. The Ancient Mariner is smiling and handing me a flower, a simple gesture, and not expecting anything in return. One of the best examples of Paying It Forward — random acts of kindness without any expectation of anything in return.
In that instant, my entire attitude toward the day changed. This Ancient Mariner apparently sets out every day to hand a beautiful flower to a lady and hopefully make her smile. Of course, I smiled and thanked him profusely. He’s wanting nothing, just to offer a beautiful flower to make someone’s day better.
As he left, others in the laundry room, grin and tell me that every day “Captain Jack” finds the prettiest blossom he can find and offers it to someone to brighten their day. He certainly brightened my day.
Now every time I see “Captain Jack”, he makes me smile … I hope the smiles he receives make his day like his simple offering of one of the most beautiful flowers I’ve ever been given! And I hope I remember this moment, and how such a simple gesture can change a person’s attitude toward the day… how can I pass the feeling forward?
THANK YOU CAPTAIN JACK …. whoever you are …. my favorite Ancient Mariner!