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.