We picked up a hitchhiker today.
She was on the side of the road with her backpack and walking sticks at the bottom of the mountain. We pulled over, threw her gear in the back and drove up the mountain, while she entertained us with stories of hiking the Appalachian Trail. She has been hiking for six months and has roughly two weeks to go. Over 2200 miles of hiking from Maine to Georgia.
Yesterday she hitched down the mountain to get supplies and stay at a hostel for the night. Today she hitched back up the mountain to continue on her trek. A woman alone, travelling for miles and miles, sleeping in shelters along the trail. When I was in my 20's I would have never dreamed it.
I find it interesting how the Universe works. Had we driven the car instead of the Suburban, we would have had no room for her. Had we gotten up on time and left earlier, we would have missed her. Had we not picked her up, we would have hiked the Chimneys instead of Alum Cave Bluffs (which was the best scenic hike yet). And as for our hiker; had we not come along who knows how long she would have waited. She had been there for 20 minutes waiting and probably had more than 500 cars pass her in that time.
The kids thought it was the greatest thing to have her and peppered her with questions all the way up the mountain, which she patiently answered. When we dropped her off my oldest leaned over and told me we did a mitzvah today and she is right.