by Isabel Lemper
There are those days when everything just fits together perfectly. And then this day is almost over in its perfection, and something happens after all. Is everything that came before then no longer worth anything? Or is it a question of perspective?
On one of these last summer Sundays it was like that – at least until the evening. The day started very relaxed and even the little tidying up in the cellar was fun. My husband, our one-and-a-half year old son and I enjoyed the sun’s rays on our terrace steps with home-baked Zwetschgendatschi (plum pie). And by the way, the olive tree was planted out of the pot into the garden bed … My husband can’t sit still for long.
In the afternoon we went up a hill through a wooded slope, our little one was super happy in the carrier. He ran down the entire hill by himself, holding on to our hands, and I felt such a sense of happiness. I said to my husband, „This is exactly how I imagined family life. I had these images in my head of us, together with our son between us holding hands, going on relaxed trips and feeling like family.“ I felt so connected in that moment, to myself, to my two loved ones and also to the place we were in.
What could lower the mood now?
In keeping with the lightness of this Sunday, we cycled to the Italian restaurant in the evening and enjoyed ourselves. It was also wonderfully easy with our son that evening, something we don’t necessarily expect when we go out to eat with a toddler. What could lower the mood now, after such a wonderful day?
On the way back, I had our son in the front seat with me on the bike when we passed a man with a dog after a blind bend. With a sense of premonition, I thought about how safe such a front seat would be if we were to fall off our bikes. Fortunately, the dog was on a leash, but then a second small black puppy shot out of the bushes shortly afterwards – without a leash. The man’s daughter tried to catch him, but he ran straight into my bike. It all happened so fast, I headed for a barrier post and crashed into it.
We were lucky. A paramedic who was on his way home came running up and asked, „Can I help? Are you okay?“ I was a bit overwhelmed with the situation at first. And I felt so sorry for our son, because he trusts his parents on the bike, and then something like this happens…. After we had assessed the situation and there were no major injuries apart from a broken footrest on the front seat, I asked how the dog was. I was sure that I had run him over. My husband also confirmed that from behind it looked as if I had rolled over him. But the puppy also had a guardian angel. He seemed fit and had no major injuries. What luck!
We often judge too quickly without having changed perspective.
„I guess we were in the wrong place at the wrong time. We really didn’t need such an end to this wonderful day,“ I thought out loud. And then my husband said something that still touched me deeply the next day: „Don’t let that spoil the beautiful memories of this day. We can be so grateful that no one got hurt!“
There it is again: the gratitude that is so often lost in everyday life. My husband showed me in that moment how precious every single moment is. I became aware once again of how we can control the way we look at things that seem unpleasant at first. And he often says: „There is not only black and white, but also something in between.“ We often judge far too quickly without having changed perspective. I am very grateful to him for always lovingly reminding me of this.
Gratitude and what it can do
The feeling of gratitude did not end with the night. The day after was still filled with wonderful moments. And maybe it takes a little reminder in life every now and then to change perspective and regain that feeling. Surely we can help other people do that too. Make Someone Happy!
I got the address from the family and met with them a few days later. Father and daughter apologised several times and were also very grateful that nothing worse had happened. The little dog was only slightly limping the next day. And they also paid for the damage to the seat.
In future, I’ll drive a bit slower around bends. And the family will certainly be a bit more careful with their dogs.
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