Money Blowing In The Wind

I had the strangest thing happen yesterday. I was getting gas.  I had my wallet stuffed with cash. STUFFED. I also had this restaurant gift card, in a folder, placed alongside the paper money. I put it there so I would not lose it. Never mind why I was carrying all this cash. We had a tornado threat yesterday. It didn’t manifest, but it was windy. 

I stopped to get fuel and when I opened my wallet to get my credit card out, all the cash in my wallet slid out off the slick paper carrier of the gift card and it went FLYING.

You have to picture this. I am talking about $400 in twenty dollar bills, mostly. And some ones and a couple fives and a ten, but it was mostly twenties. I’d gotten the cash from an ATM. More than one ATM, obviously. I’ve been carrying this cash for awhile.

So the twenty dollar bill blew all around, tumbling away. I could not chase them. Seriously. I could even think about chasing them. I was squatted down between my car and the pump, stepping on as many as I could. They’d dropped straight down, see. And then the wind picked them up.  So I was squatted down, watching them blow and scatter in a broad pattern.

The reason I couldn’t chase them was because I am crippled, some of the time. Yesterday, I was particularly crippled and I just couldn’t stand up, never mind, try to run after these bills. They were going and going to be gone.

But then some man on the other side of the pump, started chasing them. Found money, right? There were so many bills.  It was like a really lucky day for someone.  But do you know that guy gathered all the money (he could find) and brought it back to me?

“Is that all of them?” he asked.

“I don’t know?” I said, still trying to hold on to the wad of cash under my feet and crumpled in my hands. I was so crippled, I was struggling to stand and open the car door so I could throw the money on the passenger seat, out the reach of the wind.

He peered under the car and handed me three more twenties.  “Is that all?” he asked. It was so windy.

“I don’t know,” I said. By then, I was on my feet, with the cash in the car. I walked around the front and looked under the car. “There’s another under the tire,” I said.  He reached and grabbed it. “You better keep that,” I said. “It’s the very least I could do. Look how much you saved me.”

“No, ma’am,” he said. “I can’t take any money.”

“Yes, you can. I could not have done what you did. I’m crippled,” I explained. “I could not have gone after that money and would have lost it all, if not for you.”

“Well I can’t take it, ma’am. I can’t take money for doing a good deed.”

He went back to his pump and I got all the money into the car…it was all in a messy pile. I found a ten dollar bill.

“Will you take this, then?” I asked, him.

“No ma’am. That’s just not something I could do.”

What do you make of this?


54 thoughts on “Money Blowing In The Wind”

  1. I read an article a while back about financial incentive changing peoples motivations and response. The basic gist was that in some way it taints our altruistic nature and the good feelings that generous acts of kindness give us. Think about how that story would have sounded differently in his telling it to people at the end of the day- it somehow would have lessened the good deed.

    1. A reward attached to the story would give the deed a monetary value lesser than how awesome the act of kindness actually was.

      1. I agree. But people are poor around here. It’s an extraordinary site to see money flying around like that. Enough to pay a person’s rent.

        I also told someone about this. They said in their locale, the money would have been GONE.

        It also struck me – I really am CRIPPLED. At the mercy of other people’s kindness.

        This is why I am asking about this. It was symbolic and telling me something, but I am not sure what.

        A friend told me it showed, “prosperity” around me. It was something else – that’s all I can say.

        1. Elsa, how about this as a symbol of “just when you think you’re about to lose all, or most, in comes the Calvary!” All is never lost!

  2. Also, there are a lot of drugs around here…like I could be a drug dealer with that much cash. So I don’t know what this guy might have thought…other than, I don’t look like a drug dealer. I was dressed nicely, on my way to a church luncheon.

    The people around here visit a different churches, one each week, during Lent. So that’s what I was up to.

  3. A perfectly normal response to someone losing their money that way. I wouldn’t hesitate to help you – why would anyone NOT do what that guy did?

    1. Yes, I would have done it too. But one thing that is was weird, is I did not help him. I couldn’t…and he couldn’t know or see why. Crouching down is hard. Getting up from a crouch is beyond hard. I was kind of paralyzed there. I could not quite get it together, so it was just this one man, running in every direction. And he was the only one, see? That struck me as well. Why is this one man running around the parking lot (and the field beyond that ended at a fence acting as a barrier to a State highway.

      It was crazy to see. The bills dropped down and the lifted up and took off, rolling like feathers from a ripped open pillow in the wind.

  4. Elsa, I think God put that man there at that exact time to help you. You just got back a little of what you’ve put in your spiritual bank.
    As for “It also struck me – I really am CRIPPLED. At the mercy of other people’s kindness.” That’s a HUGE aha moment…especially always having been an independent woman. And that’s an awful lot to process about what all that means & what you do with it.
    It really is a nice reminder that yes, there are an awful lot of just plain, nice honest folks out there.
    I’m glad that angel was there for you!

    1. Thanks, Diane. Me too! And I thought of this as well…

      If you read my book, there are angels all through it, which I didn’t realize until someone pointed it out. But they are there, PROMINENTLY. So I thought of this yesterday…I still have this phenomenal gift.

  5. Someone once helped me out in a situation that reminded me of your story. I was pregnant, about 8 months heavy duty pregnant, and had been driving back from a doctor’s appointment. I ended up running something over; all the sensors went off, I could hear the flapping sound of the deflating tire as I drove. I had to pull over, but it was not a good part of town.

    I couldn’t reach my husband, who was literally 10 minutes away at his office. When I finally did reach him, he told me he couldn’t help me because he was in a meeting. Now, I am not one of those helpless women, but, being 8 months pregnant made me feel especially vulnerable, plus, I am ashamed to say I have never changed a tire before, or even had someone show me how to do it. I remember pacing around the outside of the vehicle, repeatedly telling him i could see this metal handle protruding from my tire (he didn’t believe me) arguing with my husband about my predicament; he was standing his ground by not leaving work to come to my rescue, telling me simply to get it towed to the dealer. I remember being in hormonal pregnant tears as I got off the phone with him; what was I to do? Like out of a movie, suddenly a man walks up behind me, asks me if I needed help.

    I immediately grew cautious. For me, being pregnant meant my senses were on hyper mode, and my protecting-my-unborn-child sense was in full force. I was a block away from the former crack capital of South Florida, I was pregnant, I was a woman,I had a nice vehicle, and a strange man looking like he had seen better days is approaching me…all of these things flashed through my head as he came closer, and I swore to myself if anything happened to me I would kill my husband afterwards and then kill him again for good measure for not doing his husbandly duty and saving me, dammit…lol.

    But the man quickly sized up my situation, saw the problem, and told me he would put the spare on for me. He was extemely polite when he offered, and actually was quite shy, avoiding making eye contact with me. I accepted; in less than 10 minutes he was finished, carefully putting back every tool he had used, and even putting the busted tire in the vehicle for me, making sure nothing got scratched or dirty. My initial wariness had completely worn off at that point, and I was busting at the seams with gratitude. I was profusely thanking him, and he had begun to smile and *almost* look at me. I started to open my wallet, to give him some money, to thank him, and the smile just melted off his face, like I had hit him.

    He politely told me “No thank you ma’am” and turned to leave. I felt confused. This man had saved me so much time, so much money; why couldn’t he accept a $20? I think it offended him…I think I had inadvertently offended him, something I definitely had no intention of doing. I had been so used to people in my life taking advantge of me, doing things purely with the expectation of money in return, so it was weird to think that there was someone out there who wouldn’t try to do this, to a pregnant woman in obvious distress.

    In my natal I have Jupiter trine Uranus, the strongest aspect in my chart. It is exact. I think this is an example of it in action, personally. But to this day, I still look back and remember how out of nowhere that man came and helped me, without wanting anything, nothing, in return.

    Oh, and when I took the car to the dealer, they extracted a 5 inch wrench that had pierced through my tire. I was very lucky I didn’t have an accident because of it.

  6. We are so used to bad news, bad actions, bad deeds that we are surprised by a genuine good deed. Even though the person may have been poor financially, he certainly had integrity. And that can`t be bought and sold. Sometimes we rush with judgments. All of us. And we are proved wrong. I think that the expectations we have shape our reality in some way even though we can be wrong. Maybe you are focusing on what doesn`t work in your life instead of what works. And not just you. I found myself obsessing over the setbacks in my life and that leads to nowhere. Good thinks can and will happen to us. We just have to allow it. I think I sound preachy and I don`t want to sound like that but I felt the need to write this 🙂

    1. I know that good things happen to me. I am very aware of this, as is everyone around me. Magnet for the best and worst, as someone told me recently.

      I am just as cursed and blessed as a person can me. I don’t report everything on this blog. It’s not possible to do. 🙂

  7. Some people – it used to be MORE people- find joy in helping. Real, unadulterated joy. It makes them feel good, they can lay their head on their pillow at night knowing they did something good for someone else, even if the rest of their day was crappy. The important part, to them, is that they receive nothing in return. I often think that if I had enough money, I’d be one of those people who finds people, especially single parents, in need, and anonymously deposits money into their accounts. THAT would be my idea of a joyous life. That man who helped you, he was paid by you in gratitude and while that has no monetary value, it has the most spiritual value there is. His kindness affected you… how great is that? To move someone with your kindness? Total bliss.

  8. Elsa, I think your feelings of a deeper meaning are dead on. In my life I have found there are layers of meaning and symbolism, all reflecting a truth and then…..more… like you felt.
    My take…you are a strong woman even in this fragile state. Your physical condition has asked you to transcend your body and know a strength that is beyond the physical. But in that strength there is a softening to enter the world of spirit or the Kingdom. There may be some details to your strength that needs to be addressed to really soar in this lifetime. One of them might be truly handing over the ‘controls’ to Divine. In the split second you were helpless to the wind. The man at the pump was the face of God showing you what it is to be One with All and All is Good.

    1. Yes, I think this was right. I was on my way to do a good deed, myself. In spite of being highly crippled, and a potential tornado on the way. So I do think, God is supporting my effort.

  9. I think it’s significant too, and it has to do with yourself, your subconscious expectations of Other. Maybe you are starting to be more trustful? “People are indifferent” is changing to “people care”?
    Something along those lines, anyway; it doesn’t really matter what the other guy thought – he could of been happy, or moved, or even offended that you offered money – that’s his story and his projections; but yours I think are along the lines of what Bonnie said:)

    1. I actually am already trustful. I was taught this by my grandfather, Henry.

      He said you should expect the best of everyone, until (and unless) they prove to be disagreeable. I have lived this way since I was five or six years old.

      What is missing here, is I did not SEE the man. He was on the other side of the pump, but these were those huge black rectangle pumps. I was at a Walmart gas station. So I was crouched down, behind a big black pump, six feet wide. I did not see where he came from until I could get up.

      I did not think someone was going to steal from me. I thought…I can’t get up and chase the money…I wondered if it would blow up against the fence or blow through it (chain link) onto the highway. I was watching this unfold, because it was such a sight. It just was…money, rolling away. I had never seen anything like it.

      But anyway, I do not think bad things of people. It’s the exact opposite.

  10. Jupiter in Libra square Saturn in Sagittarius–generous, righteous support from another person for someone afflicted in the moment.

  11. Oops, sorry. Not square. That would be Saturn in Capricorn. But Jupiter and Saturn in relationship, nonetheless.

  12. I agree Maira, what the man at the pump thought or experienced is his story. Elsa, particularly because of the sublte feeling you had, a flare marking the moment.
    For me I have found these to mark the Call for growth, the Invitation. You feel it in your gut, don’t know what its significance is but is easy to access the significance over and over. That is when I have a ‘sit down on the bed’ conversation with my Self.
    “Okay…what is my committment? Am I ‘all in’? Am I willing to give myself to this?” Even if I don’t understand what ‘this’ is. I hold it up in a challice for Divine (visualizing) and I try to remember that trust is the
    giving up of control and even understanding.

  13. Hmm…someone on facebook said they thought it showed I was not attached to money…which is also true. If I was meant to lose that money, then I would have lost it without complaint. People who have read around here for awhile, know there are times I take crazy, insane, losses with a blink. Because I know…

    Well I just think of Steve Jobs, for example. All the money in the world and he didn’t take a penny with him, nor could he manage to stay alive, though he clearly wanted to.

    If it goes, then it goes. 🙂

  14. Sounds like to me you bumped into a Southern Gentlemen to me. There are a number of them around. Of course even though I’m not a man if I had been some place and noticed that had happened to someone I would have chased down that money for them or done my best to help them get their money back.

  15. As all have said, a truly uplifting story of an inspiring and noble man.

    Yet, my first thought after his refusals for cash, why not offer him the
    restaurant gift card ? You could have both rejoiced together as you would have “fed”
    each other. The answer was what not was blowing in the wind.

    1. That’s not the way it is around here. People are busy…he was fueling and off to work, no doubt. Plus, men and women who don’t know each other don’t interact, especially if anyone is married. Men chat with men, women with women. A man might chat with me briefly, if he knows my husband or if is a church thing. Otherwise, you just nod at each other. The man nods first.

      Things are very different in America, based on the region. Really, I feel we are closer to being Amish then we are to being in New York.

      I’m serious.

      The difference with me, is I am open to anyone, living anywhere, and respectful of another person’s culture, regardless of what it is. But I do believe in respecting local people wherever I go, so I abide by the social rules of a culture, just as soon as I figure out what they are! 🙂

      For example, if you meet someone, Asian, you do so with a gift in hand. PERIOD.

      The other day, I met a young man, then realized I had enchilada sauce on my face. I apologized for this and he told me it was no problem at all, which is exactly what I expected.

  16. Then it no longer becomes helping, but a service rendered for money. It would become another drop un the tin of the capitalist society we live in, versus one of the few things one can still do without needing to feed the system.

  17. Grace! I’ve been told angels are everywhere. There was an angel there for you that day. It’s also living in the heartland. I can’t tell you how many time I’ve left my wallet fully exposed on the bar while I went to the bathroom. Once someone even left me a lovenote.

  18. My interpretation
    All the work you have done (saved in money) is now being blown around by a gust of wind from nowhere (fate) but someone not corruptible and does this kind act to you (a person in a form of a saint) does the right thing and gave you back all you have earned. Justice and fairness
    1) someone is watching over you compensating for the the things you cannot do but would if you could like walk. You have help around you more than you know
    2) watch who you let “blow” your money. Is anyone trying to borrow from you?
    3) save and use your money wisely this is like warning
    4) is someone taking time away from your work and you feel they are a drain or not worth the effort? Have you lost money time or resources due to them? You will be rewarded and I believe you need to have faith in karma and justice.
    There are several messages you can take from this but there is a reason it happened now think it over what it could be

  19. Such a beautiful story Elsa. God bless you and god bless that man. I agree with some of the comments. Your angels were flying in front of you, along with that wind.

  20. A true angel and that speaks of Southern hospitality. Stories like this restore faith in humanity and bring a tear to the eye.

  21. Knowing you live in Tennessee now, I just thought automatically, “kind Southern gentleman”.
    There aren’t enough people like this in the world, but when you come across one, whew, it’s so refreshing! I had car trouble once between the Alabama-Georgia line and Montgomery, AL. A trucker, an 18 wheeler guy, was trying to help me at the rest stop. He then followed me (I had to go sort of slow, my engine was overheating) to Montgomery where I stopped to call AAA. I tried to give him money and he wouldn’t take it, either. Surely following me slowed his schedule. This is before cell phones so we couldn’t communicate while driving. Still amazes me.

  22. AZ and CO must have been real hell holes! This story is just an every day occurrence in the North East. What else would they do, watch it blow away? Not help? Steal your money right in front of you? I’m all hot and bothered now that there are places where this *isnt* the norm :/ Who raised these people? They need to watch some more PBS, or go back to kindergarten, or something. Even my preschoolers would have helped you, because they’re old enough to know it’s the right thing to do.

    1. Believe it or not, there are people out there that would not stoop to help another person for any reason. A lot of times, you can see stories about people dying and others just standing there taking pictures of them without helping them. This was a big news story a few years back in Chicago where a man was attacked as soon as he walked out of a convenience store and people started recording it. Then the man was knocked out and a taxi ran over him and it killed him and no one bothered to help him. It is not the norm in a lot of places to help others. Most of us would not think twice about helping someone in need, but to some it would not even cross their mind.

      1. I agree, Tonya. Also, if you could have seen the sight. Bills, everywhere. So what about gathering five and returning two?

        A lot of people are quite poor here. It’s easy to imagine there would be a temptation.

  23. He was a good samaratin (geez how do you spell that?). I always say that I wouldn’t survive without the kindness of strangers. Angels are everywhere.

  24. I have read news about indian workers working in Dubai, getting fired or being stripped down naked to find if they have any tips /money from customers. The Indian workers take risks to hide their tipped money because they feel they deserve it due to the fact they are so poor and underpaid. The wealthy customers coming in and out of there tip them but they are not allowed to keep tips. I’ve read it is illegal to what they are doing (getting stripped for getting tipped)

    1. They do that here, too. I have a Japanese friend, she worked in a Chinese restaurant here as a waitress. She made a low wage and had to split her tips with the house. 🙁

    2. oh they were indian workers working in a gas station /gas attendants in Dubai- based Emirates general petroleum corps. I think maybe due to economical hardships.

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