Me an’ the missus went out the other mornin’ for our constitutional walk. Musta been about eight o’clock or so. We was hikin’ along, mindin’ our own business an’ takin’ in the fresh air. Well, we wasn’t the only ones on the path neither. A couple’a old biddies come walkin’ toward us, focused on keepin’ their deterioratin’ bodies propelled forward instead o’ fallin’ down, determined looks on their faces. “Good Morning!” the say, their faces suddenly lightin’ up like Christmas trees. “Lovely morning for a walk.”
What the . . . . We reply in kind, somewhat stunned by the friendly gesture at that hour o’ the day. Stuff like that don’t happen in Winnipeg, especially lately with the cold winter we been havin’. Then a guy comes wizzin’ by on a bicycle. “Mornin’” he chirps and carries on. We barely got time to say good mornin’ back before he disappears down the path. Well it carried on that way all the way home until we were convinced it WAS a good mornin’.
I kinda’ figured that was sort of a one off. Maybe people were just happy to be able to walk outside in some comfort instead of on icy walkways in the freezin’ cold. But no, it even continued on to the next day when I had to go out to get a prescription filled. I was in a sour mood cause it was quite a hike to the pharmacy and I was determined not to take the car. Walkin’ back, grumblin to myself for not drivin’, a six or seven year old girl passed me by. She looked up an’ said “Hi” as she passed. Well, I’ll be, if my mood didn’t brighten right up. The trip home suddenly wasn’t so long any more. Even when I went by the yard with that puny wire haired terrier barkin’ his fool head off like he was the boss of me, I said good mornin’ to him an’ kept on walkin’. Well I didn’t exactly say good mornin’, but rather likened him to some unmentionable body parts as I passed by. I kinda’ thought he got the drift of what I called him because he barked so hard that all four feet left the ground with every yelp, but he looked to have a smile on his face, like I’d complimented him.
That brings me to the point o’ the whole story. The power o’ dialogue is a mighty force. If them Ukrainians an’ the Russians could walk by one another an’ just say good mornin’ to each other, they’d be in a whole lot better mood to solve their differences. Look at what the Pope just accomplished by the very same means with them Israelites and the Palestinians. He went to visit them, said hello nicely an’ then invited them over to his place for tea. They both accepted. An’ what do you think they’re gonna do at the Pope’s house, bring guns an’ bombs? I don’t think so. They’re probably gonna talk to each other which is a whole lot better’n blowin’ each other’s heads off. At least that’s how it seems to me from up here on the top shelf.