There is nothing as glorious as Fall in southern Idaho. The days are warm, the skies clear. The colors on the trees start to change as leaves flutter to the ground.
On such a dazzling day my writing partner and I arrived at Rock Creek Park to shoot video for a book trailer. Mid-afternoon, it was warm and we were having trouble with one of our props.
“Move it to the left,” my writing partner said.
A young boy, perhaps six or seven approached. “What are you doing?”
“We’re making a film.”
“For what?” He watched as she aimed the camera and pushed the lever.
“For a book.”
He gave her a funny look and continued to watch until he realized no superheroes where going to jump out of the tree.
“Now what, director?” I said.
Bored, the young boy drifted away.
“I’m too short,” I said as I tried to straighten the prop, now lodged in the tree. “I wish I had something to stand on.” As I looked around for a log or a rock, a teenager scaled the tree and unlodged our prop.
“Thank you,” I said, extremely grateful.
Curious but silent, he watched. Then as quick as he appeared, he was gone.
Fussing with the prop, my writing partner said, “I wish I had a piece of wire.”
Just like that, the teenager reappeared, this time with a rusty piece of wire.
“That’s great,” she said as she adjusted the prop.
He stood back and watched as she filmed the video.
“Check this out.” She hit the playback button.
I waved him over. “Come see.”
Silently we bent our heads over the screen.
She shot it again. Again we peered at the footage.
“That’s a wrap,” she said satisfied.
“Thanks for your help,” she said as the teenager walked towards his little brother. “You make a great director’s assistant.”
He didn’t say goodbye. He didn’t vandalize our car, or glare at us with drug-hazed eyes. He didn’t ask for money. I didn’t see his face, but I know he was smiling.
For one brief moment on a Sunday afternoon, three strangers converged. Silently we touched something in each other. Heart-stopping, it was beautiful.