About one month ago I was driving home after a long day at work. The road is two lanes with a turn lane in the middle and it is generally pretty busy. There are houses on either side and yards and people walking on the sidewalks. A small silver car three cars in front of me suddenly pulled off the road, up onto the curb and yard of a house. The car’s rear was still hanging out into the line of traffic resulting in everyone behind having to slow down and carefully drive into the middle lane and around the car. The driver, a middle-aged woman, got out of her car, and ran up to a large tree that was growing along the edge of the road and essentially in the front yard of the house. She had a huge smile on her face and started picking pink apples that were hanging heavy on the tree (all while traffic crept by her). In my rear view mirror, after navigating past her car, I could see her pulling her blouse out of her pants and using it to hold apples. I was pretty sure she was completely nuts.
Over the next few weeks I continued to randomly see people picking apples off this tree in the front yard of this house. I was baffled. What was so special about these apples? Why did people think they could just walk into someone’s yard and pick them? What was going on?
And then yesterday traffic slowed at the right time and I was able to see the small handwritten sign tacked to the trunk of the tree. It read “(smudge) share. (smudge) apples all. Spread (smudge) joy.”
I still don’t know what kind of apples they are. I have not stopped to pick any but I might one of these nights on the way home. But that handwritten sign got me thinking about spreading joy and what do I have to offer to the world to simply spread joy? What do you have? If I were my own best friend I would think about simple ways to spread joy and then I would go out and liberally spread that stuff all over, because I don’t think there is ever a time the world could not benefit from a bit more joy.