By Barbara Nance
It was a day like any other day, but, of course, as soon as one says that, a ripple in life shows up. At the entrance of my neighborhood road stands our community mailbox, like a sentinel of sorts. The well beaten dirt path at this junction carries not only memories of our tire tracks, but those of deer and coyote. I have often wondered what these animals think of our mailbox that resembles an alien robot. The five foot tall metal box stands at attention on its cement platform, a shiny tin soldier waiting for each of us to check in daily and collect our mail.
But this morning there was sadness in the neighborhood when we found out our mailbox had been brutally vandalized. Some scallywag delinquents most likely dared each other by moonlight to pry open our innocent box. The back panels had been filleted open exposing all the now empty compartments. It looked like a miniature abandoned apartment building. Barren nooks that once held letters from loved ones, special announcements and coupons. Then there are bills to be paid. Oh my, were any bills missing? We’ll all have to drive into town and stand in line at the post office for our mail. How long might that go on? “Who are these scallywags?” I cried out.
After winding myself up into a tizzy, I took a deep breath and looked at the incident in a new light. Our mailbox, our tin soldier will be rebuilt and return to us stronger than ever before! It was wounded in its most vulnerable spot, but now will be reinforced with stronger materials, maybe titanium or if need be, Superman’s crytonite! Avid imagination sees a new heart that will beat inside our mailbox, like the Tin Man in the Wizard of Oz. From that point on I will salute our silver soldier each time I pick up my mail, even if it does contain bills. It’s all part of our communication with the world we live in.
The mailbox mystery may or may not ever be resolved as to who the scallywags were, but we now have an army of sleuth detectives out here in our neck of the woods. and we are strengthened by this incident as a group. We will have our tin soldier back on duty before you can say “mind wandering ponderings."