Monday, November 24, 2008

blessings

I see him on my way in and his smile turns wide. Hey Colgate Smile, he says with a grin. (He always calls me that and I rather like it mostly because it's not possibly true) We talk for a moment and I ask him how he is. I'm so blessed. I'm so blessed! I'm alive and I'm here and I couldn't be better! And he gives me a hug. I like him. I've seen him regularly for awhile now and every time it's the same. Well, I say, I can think of one thing that might be better, and that's you getting your own place and out of here and he looks at me and smiles. But I have this and for this I am blessed. Now you take care, Colgate Smile.

I watch him leave, his duffel on one shoulder and a bus pass in his hand and his hair a bit wet from the shower. His shirt is a little stained but it's clean and his pant legs aren't quite long enough, it's hard to find the right size when searching other people's castoffs. He's headed off in the hopes of finding day labor but he'll be back. He'll be back because this is where he lives.

Some people are indefatigable. They shine so bright I can't quite decide if I need to stand up straighter or bow really low. I can't tell if it's shame at my own whining or disbelief that they are not. They fill the dark spaces with confetti and their eyes set off fireworks. They are golden, they are stardust. They believe.

And we mortals can only hope to stand near the glow of such audacious hope.

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12 comments:

Omaha Mama said...

That is so my goal. To shine with hope.
What a lovely tribute you've written here. He must see a little of the same in you, what with that great nickname he's given you!

deezee said...

yes indeed. I need to take me some lessons.

flutter said...

beautiful, jen

painted maypole said...

today when i asked someone how he was he answered "better than yesterday but not as good as tomorrow"

one of those types, I guess

we have much to learn from them

cce said...

God these people, these beacons, are so rare, so outstanding. I just wish I had even one iota of this faith which shines through them.
Thanks for sharing this one. Though it doesn't come naturally, I'm gonna work a little harder at giving off some glow.

Gwen said...

There's something to be said for expectation, maybe, and the way it feeds into our thankfulness and gratitude; what we deserve, what we *think* we deserve, etc.

This was so holiday appropriate, little j. Thanks.

mamatulip said...

Love this.

Blog Antagonist said...

Audacious hope. I like that. A lot. Thanks.

Ally said...

Jen, I am going to miss the wisdom from the shelter when you're otherwise occupied in the jungle. Thanks for giving us all a good reality check. There is so much to be grateful for, including people like this that remind us to shine.

Amanda said...

Thanks be to the unexpected (and expected) reminders.

crazymumma said...

I know. People like that make me weak with shame.

Maggie, Dammit said...

"They shine so bright I can't quite decide if I need to stand up straighter or bow really low."

God I love that.