February 5, 2011: Let Go, Let Light

Sometimes when it’s overcast because another storm’s coming, and I’m a little worn out from dealing with snowbanks and ice—today, in other words—it’s hard to “walk cheerfully over the earth.” I’m glum, chum, and see, as I walk, the very worst of human nature as represented by icy, dangerous unshoveled sidewalks and dog shit.

But the Light comes through—even on a gloomy day. Like it’s compelled to shine or something.

Completely randomly, my YakTrax-shod boots today brought me to 3 locations that lifted my spirits, nourished my soul, reminded me that, yes, humans are capable of wonderful things.

First stop: Somerville’s bustling winter farmers’ market. Expecting nothing but turnips I’d gone simply out of curiosity. But, hey, there was locally produced wine and coffee and cheese and baked goods and seafood—and root vegetables. And lots of people. Heart Lift # 1.

Second stop: Anticipating staying home tonight, decided to go to the library to get some DVDs. Again, the place was packed. After selecting some films, managed to do the teeniest bit of research for a new writing project. A few clicks on the library’s catalog site, connected to greater-Boston’s libraries’ collections and—presto chango—what I need will be delivered to my library. For free. So, OK, there are dog owners who don’t pick up after their pets. But there’s also this incredible, free, accessible-to-all service called our public library system. Heart Lift # 2.

Third stop: Waking home, an SUV stopped beside me and a woman rolled down her window: “Excuse me,” she said in a Somerville accent. “Are you wearing something strapped to your boots?” (Maybe she’d noticed me confidently striding along and figured  I was either suicidal or had special gear.)

Yes, I told her.

“Where did you get them?”

“My husband bought them for me.”

“Ohh,” she said. “What a wonderful gift!”

What I heard was: Aren’t you lucky to have a husband that gives you gear that allows you to walk safely. And she said this without rancor. Without jealousy. What I heard was someone, a complete stranger, able to express joy at another stranger’s incredible blessings. Heart Lift # 3.

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