When Melody stepped out the door that morning on her way to work, she gasped with surprise, when she saw a fallen tree trunk lying straight across the end of her driveway. The windstorm must have knocked it down during the night. A sigh of resignation followed, realizing the trunk was blocking her exit.
How was she to get to work on time? And, she still had to drop her son off at daycare. As a single mom, she couldn’t afford to miss more work. As is, she often needed to ask for extra time off when her five year old son, Billy had emergencies.
“Mommy, what happened?” Billy shouted as he scooted out beside her, noticing the tree lying there. He rushed up to it with his backpack bouncing on his back. “Cool!” He hopped on top of the trunk and walked across with his arms spread out as if he were on a balance beam.
“Cool” is not the word that came to Melody’s mind. The word that she was thinking of was not appropriate to utter in front of her six year old. She walked up to the long trunk dejectedly. Who did one call to remove a fallen tree? And how long would it take?
Melody tossed her purse and keys onto the grass and then bent down to try and lift it. Although the trunk was not too large, the many branches made it heavier than it looked. The stump didn’t budge. “Great!” she replied sarcastically.
Just as she scooped up her purse to fetch her cellphone, Mike, her neighbor from across the street, stopped as he was jogging by.
“Hey, do you need help?” he asked, trotting up her driveway, surveying the problem.
“I’m not sure we can lift it,” she admitted.
Mike bent down to grab the trunk. He raised it slightly, but it was obviously too heavy for one man to carry away.
Melody realized, she’d have to call her boss after all and talk her way out of another late arrival.
“Wait with calling someone.” Mike signaled over. “I’ll get Greg, Bob, and Michael from up the street to come down here. I think they’re all still at home.”
Melody didn’t know what to say. She’d always been friendly with her neighbors, waved at them, brought flying garbage bins back to their doorstep and even shoveled snow from their sidewalk when she was doing her own, but she never had time to chat or socialize with any of them. As a single mom, she never had time. She felt guilty for putting them all out of their way, but before she could utter a word of refusal, Mike had already left. The only one that seemed happy about the fallen trunk was Billy who was busy jumping on and off it.
Melody couldn’t believe that within fifteen minutes, the tree trunk had been moved off to the side of her driveway by four of her neighbors. One of them even offered to remove the trunk later at no cost because he wanted firewood.
Now that is teamwork.
Just recently, through a social-network discussion group, a large group of us helped each other out. It was amazing how in a short time, through teamwork so much had been accomplished. It’s at times like these that you experience the power that comes together through group effort, and then you feel like anything is possible.