The Type of Person Everyone Ought to Know

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One summer my friend Zane came to stay with me for a couple of weeks. He needed a change of scenery and I needed someone to mentor and teach my ways. I should mention that I was about twenty, which would have put Zane in his early teens. In hindsight it may have been a poor decision to send him to stay with me.

We were walking towards uptown Waterloo on King Street in the smoldering July heat when Zane pointed out how refreshing it would be to go swimming in a fountain we had just passed. Being the mature one I pointed out that it would be inappropriate to swim in someone’s fountain. Unless you were wearing a bathing suit.

So home we went to get him a bathing suit and towel and if we had a snorkel and flippers he probably would’ve put those on too. Back to the fountain we went and into the water went Zane. There I was, like a proud parent, standing with my arms crossed and a towel over my shoulder, encouraging my boy to follow his dreams and to put down that quarter.

I think we went to three different fountains that afternoon. At each one Zane would get in and splash around for a bit, laughing the whole time and then we would hightail it out of there before someone caught us.

 In everyone’s life, at some time, our inner fire goes out. It is then burst into flame by an encounter with another human being. We should all be thankful for those people who rekindle the inner spirit. – Albert Schweitzer

The best part of Zane’s visit was that as much as I thought he needed me, it was really me that needed him. Life had started to get me down and I was cynical of a lot of things. Zane helped me to see how good it was to laugh and goof off and to genuinely enjoy life again, no matter the circumstances.

It wasn’t just the fountains, it was the morning I found him lying on my living room floor using his deflated air mattress as a blanket, it was the beating he gave me when we played chess in front of city hall and it was the night we slept in my roommate’s car in a church parking lot because the park we wanted to camp at was closed.

Zane was a great house guest. He was clean, he was polite and most importantly he was the spark that rekindled my inner fire.

Who’s the person that’s the spark in your life?


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