A Pint of Joy

White Feather
3 min readDec 8, 2020

Walking the suburban asphalt

Photo by Ethan Sykes on Unsplash

The soon to set sun cast long shadows across the suburban landscape as Schaeffer walked alongside the highway in the direction towards that sun. As the winter air chilled he knew that he could not catch up to the sun and it would be twilight by the time he reached home.

As a large truck passed by him Schaeffer was enveloped in a cloud of diesel exhaust. It was a smell he had been familiar with all his life; the stench of an unconscious civilization. Soon a car whizzed past him emitting loud thunderous beats. Any music that came with those pounding beats could not be heard. From the opened windows of that car wafted the distinctive odor of marijuana; another human olfactory calling card of suburbia that Schaeffer was familiar with.

As the sun seemed to hasten its descent behind the planet he looked at the nearby homes. Almost all of the windows of those homes were closed off to the light by mini-blinds, curtains, or draperies.

Plants are smarter than humans, Schaeffer thought to himself. Just like humans, plants need light in order to live on this planet. They need the sun. Place a plant indoors and it will grow towards whatever light source there is. Humans, however, cut themselves off from the light which they also need to grow and thrive. They block it out of their lives not realizing the profound deprivation they are inflicting upon themselves.

Shielding his eyes from the golden sun, Schaeffer looked ahead at approaching traffic. There was a break. Looking behind him, he saw that there was also a break from that direction so he proceeded to walk across the highway.

Halfway across the asphalt highway he noticed a shiny reflection of light in his peripheral vision. He walked over to it and quickly realized that it was a quarter lying in the middle of the street. He bent over and picked it up. Straightening up, he realized that his diversion to pick up that quarter had taken some extra time in crossing the highway and now suddenly traffic was barreling towards him. He walked very quickly to the other side of the highway.

Once on the other side of the highway Schaeffer squeezed the quarter in his hand as he looked into the sky and said aloud, “Thank you for the abundance.”

White Feather