In a moment of need, a hand was extended. At first, Harry didn’t see it, reaching out towards him. He had fallen on his knees, shoved from behind, his armload of books and papers scattered about him. It was raining, and for a moment, all he could do was wonder at the drops of water, falling like tears all over his work. Then he heard the voice beside him, asking him if he was okay. A hand came into view, and he took it, feeling strength in the grip and warmth from the touch.

The stranger helped him gather his materials and offered to take him to the hospital or a nearby clinic. Harry shook his head, still shaken, just wanting to go home. The man insisted on walking with him, making general conversation. When he thought about it later, Harry couldn’t recall what they’d spoken about, but it had helped to talk about normal things like the weather and upcoming holidays. They’d even had a laugh or two, though Harry was still bewildered by the sequence of events.

When they arrived at his unit block, Harry had turned to thank the man for his kindness. The man had smiled and shrugged. ‘We’re all human. We all need a helping hand occasionally. Someday, you might be able to give someone else a hand.’ Then he’d gone, his head nodding as Harry called out his thanks, his words eddying on the wind that was sending the rain in a diagonal slant.

This moment stayed with Harry. It reminded him of the simple kindnesses that people show each other, of how by reaching out we can make the world a little better each day.

I’m participating in this blogging challenge for the month of January, which supports starting the year on the “write” track. You can find out more about the challenge, join in and read other posts here.

Photo: hand sculpture at Royal North Shore Hospital, Sydney