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Showing posts from November, 2010

Sweetness

Today is a day of sweetness. It is a day of smiling. You feel it as you drive home, infusing your body and your soul.

Is it because of the woman walking out of the gym, the woman holding on to a walker, ready to blazon her way out of the double doors? You hold the door for her. She thanks you, then says, "If I don't see you before then, have a happy Thanksgiving!"

You can't imagine seeing her before then; you haven't seen her before today, but you wish her a happy Thanksgiving, too.

"Oh, I plan on it! I definitely plan on it!" she says, as she struggles with her walker.

"There's much to be thankful for, isn't there?" you say.

"Yes, indeed. There sure is," she says.

Much to be thankful for. Is it hypocritical of you to say that when you have the easy use of all your limbs, and she struggles with some sort of degenerative disease? When you have felt very little gratitude lately, and it nearly oozes out of this woman's pores? It …

Small Miracles and Large

She walks behind a waterfall, the water pelting down a hundred feet while she edges her way along the limestone cliff underneath it. Behind and above her are layers and layers of rock that had been worn down over time, so that the rock looks like stacks of books or carpet squares one atop another, rising up to form the escarpment.

She feels so very small at the edge of that path as the mist from the waterfall surrounds her. She often feels that way, like she's one small person in the midst of so many needs, so many sorrows. What can she do, really? She can't take away hunger, or pain, or sickness. She can't even find change to drop into the Salvation Army bell-ringer's bucket most days.

Just one small person.

On one side of her, the darkness of a narrow cave looms; on the other, a grandeur that makes her speechless. A cave is an ideal place to hold small things, small people. She ducks in there for a minute, but its closeness makes her uncomfortable. The darkness press…

Somewhere

Someone somewhere is washing dishes right now, plunging her hands into hot, soapy water, feeling the sludge on the bottom of a pan that used to be the drippings from a pound of bacon fried up crisp. Her strong arm scrubs out her frustration as bubbles lift up into the air.

Somewhere else is a new mother nursing her baby, her nipples sore and cracked. The baby's wobbly head holds still against her chest, and his sweet scent soothes the tired mother. She wishes her baby would sleep. She wishes she could sleep.

In another part of town, a mechanic tightens a gasket and wishes once again that he could move to Austin.

An aerobics instructor leads a step class, the microphone loose around her head. She wishes the gym would get a better one, so she wouldn't have to keep adjusting it.

A teacher grades her last papers of the day. She is underwhelmed by this lot. Of course, she was underwhelmed by the last lot, and the lot before that. She wonders if it's time to retire.

A clerk at the …

Leaves

The falling leaves look like God's confetti from some divine parade.

If the leaves are confetti, then she's on street sweeper duty, raking, raking, raking. She wonders under what circumstances God would arrange a parade. Would there be a brass band, New Orleans-style? Ticker tape, as well as confetti? Perhaps someone would be throwing candy. Would there be floats, manned by angels waving majestically? She decides she'd like to be at that parade, even if only as a humble street sweeper.