Who isn’t looking out the windows lately? It’s not just the merchants who are scanning the skies for signs of spring, it’s all of us. I guess they do it so they can tie their promotions to the next card-buying opportunity that’s set to break over us. The rest of us do it so we can be ready to throw off the dowdy feathers of winter coats and walk around outdoors for a bit in our shirtsleeves.
As far as the seasonal merchandise goes, I can bypass the rows of bright plastic eggs and Easter basket grass no problem. I have a cellar full of such stuff. I can bypass the cardboard Pots o’ Gold and the leprechaun hats too. In fact, I’ve grown so resistant to the jingoism of St. Patrick’s Day that I sometimes ‘forget’ to wear green on the 17th, though all my family on both sides hail from that Emerald Isle. You know what I mean: this stuff:
- A couple comes down a city street. She has blond hair pulled back in a ponytail and a baby inside so big it’s the main thing about her. As she passes, she looks down at her great belly and says to her man, ”Have you noticed? When I walk, it sways from side to side!”
- At a busy intersection in that same city I see a man with the deep inadvertent tan of the homeless. He stirs from his seat on the sidewalk and approaches some preschoolers attempting to cross the street.
- The preschoolers file along, cuffed at the wrist to a thick soft rope, so many living pop-beads on a brightly colored necklace.
- Their teachers look alarmed at the approach of the man – until his courtliness and self-assurance win the day. He stops traffic with one long arm and with the other bows them all across.
Later, back in my own town, I stop at the post office to pick up my mail. There I find a package of home-made biscotti from a reader in Maine, a letter addressed to “Box Holder,” which acts as a bracing reminder that the world will keep turning long after I stop renting space in it; and, a handwritten note.
“Your newsy bits about life help make my day, so here is your pat on the back,” says the note.
“Excuse my spelling. I’m 89 years young and get up every morning.”
There is no signature and no way to respond – unless I respond by doing so here.
A toast then to the 89-year-old and the biscotti-maker both!
- A toast to the baby soon to be born and his swaying mama too!
- A toast to St. Patrick’s Day just past too because why be such a grouch, Terry?
- A toast to all adults shepherding every pop-bead necklace of children everywhere.
- A toast to those little ones, fixing to one day take their place in the world.
- And finally a toast to the courtly gentleman with season’s first tan, who rose from his spot on the sidewalk to help them across the street.