Pumpkin Pie, Cindie, and a Flicker of Birds

All the way home from work, riding the bus, I dug deeper and deeper into negativity. Everything seemed stupid and useless and overwhelming, especially the endless masses and masses of cars going back and forth on four different busy roads. All going nowhere.. I thought of everything that was wrong with my life, that was hopeless and irreparable, all the insurmountable obstacles to overcome…. so bad I started swearing silently to myself, a whole nasty cauldron of inner negativity.

I glanced out the window and saw a car moving alongside the bus. A small compact car. The driver could barely see out the back it was so packed with various envelopes, boxes, stuffed shopping bags, and papers, and what looked like masses of crumpled plastic Jewel bags.. on top of all that an air filter, 20x20x1. Funny to notice that… I always seem to have to change my furnace filter.

As the car whizzed by I glanced inside and couldn’t see the driver as the front passenger seat was also completely stuffed with junk, especially masses of those crumpled plastic bags. Like a homeless stash under Wacker Drive. I wondered if he was homeless and lived in his car. I assumed it was a he, maybe not.

That carload of garbage was like my mind.

The bus was full of sad and depressing looking people, tired, worn out, unattractive and badly dressed. Shame on me!!!! But that is the fact. I am sure I looked the same.

Then someone got on the next stop, and I realized it was the Jamaican woman I befriended a few months ago. She already noticed me as she was getting on struggling with the baby and carriage, but flashed me a big beautiful smile that lit up the whole sad bus interior. I went and helped her and we chatted happily the rest of the way home. I felt cleansed by her very presence.

Home, pulled out various remnants from Thanksgiving: pate, chutney, white bread, cashews, peanuts– too tired to pull out the turkey and veggies and make a decent meal. So much for the uplift. I am so lazy!

Stack of bills and papers piled up on desk to review. Again.

Made tea, took out pumpkin pie from Thanksgiving, took it into the dining room. I brought in the Cyclamen from kitchen and put it on the dining room table where it caught the light. A mass of fiery magenta birds.

The tea hot and cinnamony, the cup deliciously warm in my hands, the tasty pie my darling little sister made with her own little hands. Those precious hands that were almost stilled forever last March. It was a little uncooked in the center but was suave and luxurious in my mouth, the spicing just right. We all like plain pumpkin pie, so she acquiesced, not making the Elizabeth David version with macerated prunes and cognac. Too fussy. She spent four hours making it and rushing to get it done in time. I almost wept eating it.

Then some movement at the window– and I saw some tail feathers, but first I heard some piping like flutes or piccolos, and thought it was the radio. It was a group of birds singing sweetly in the shrubs outside the windows. I went to look and they flew away. Just a touch of their magic but it was enough to make me bright again. Their incredible winter presence. My little ballerinas in the evergreen shrubs.

Sitting here cup in hand, the harsh winter seemed to ease up a bit (actually it has just begun!), and I felt great peace, and realized that it started with the beautiful Jamaican Cindie, and her smile, an angel sent from God.

About O

I live in a suburb of an American City. I write to try and understand myself and the world around me. I love nature, art, music, literature and beauty in all its forms. I love food. But then food is a whole other world.... I think the world is crazy and many of us will soon go insane from living in this world. What I love almost more than anything is my garden. I love its trees its shrubs and its many flowers. I love the birds, their flying and singing and dancing movements in and out of the sky and garden. Their freedom. I could watch birds all day long. They always bring joy. I love to work in my garden. To get muddy and dirty, digging, weeding, mowing, pruning and deadheading. Then, I like to have a cool glass of white wine or red, or sometimes a Manhattan, and drink in hand, I walk around and look at the fruits of my labor. And that walk each and every day in my little paradise.. because that is what gardens are.... brings me almost complete joy... My blog is whennothingworks because for a long time nothing has worked. Friends, family, jobs, money, houses, careers, lovers, things--- it all just doesn't work sometimes, or most of the time. The garden always works. Nature and its beauty always work. And, in my garden, I can sit quietly and think, or just breathe, and somehow manage to survive the world.
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