I was leaving my friend’s office the other day where I had stopped for an “atta girl” that I had desperately needed. It was one of those drizzly, gray, heavy-hearted days, when I saw it. Pressed into the wet, gravelly road, I knew it didn’t belong there. I pulled my car over and stepped back out into the chilly rain. Was it really what I thought it was? Waiting here? Just for me? Prying it free with the short tips of my fingernails, I enclosed it in my trembling hand and returned to the warmth of my car. Opening my palm, I held it closer to my eyes. Yes.
As is my habit, I squinted to see the penny’s mint date, but this little cent was so battered and scraped, it was impossible to tell. With a scratched-up Lincoln Memorial on its backside, it could have been minted anywhere from 1959 to 2008. Glimmers of shiny copper made me think it was possibly a penny of the 90’s. Maybe even newer. Still spendable, I’m sure. But I wouldn’t do that. I laid it on my dashboard instead.
How did it get so beat-up? How did it land on this road? How was I able to see it there? I felt a connection to this worldly-worthless penny that had been lost, but then saved. The sky was darkening, the rain got heavier; my windshield wipers worked harder. The penny shifted across the dash, then flew into my lap. My heart lightened. I smiled. Atta girl.
It has been more than six months since my last posting and it could possibly be another few before my next. Not because I have given up on writing, telling and listening to penny stories; on the contrary, I have been busily doing all of that, and trying to be more organized in those endeavors. I’m working on a new website, working with more kids who are eagerly learning how to listen to pennies, and working, still, to gain the attention of a publisher who sees the value in all of this…just as I had in my rainy-day penny.