Sunday, December 16, 2012

Hope in a Snowflake

The rain hit the windshield a little thicker than normal. I put my nose next to the window for a closer look. Snow! By golly, that is snow mixed with rain!!! The first snow of winter.

The timing was good. My heart was heavy with the events of the day before. I couldn't quite get my usual light spirit on as I prepared to meet customers all morning at the store. But now I had snow. I turned up my radio allowing the Christmas music to wash over me. It was a new day and a day to move forward.

I am not going to write about the tragedy for we all know the information, and we all are changed. I write today about hope. I write about taking pain and creating something positive. I write about love for all people. I write about action.

I live in a very warm pocket of humanity. I always have been surrounded by loving people and a warm home with plenty of food. When I was laid off, I discovered a life I had not imagined where I wasn't sure where I would live or where I would find  money to move forward. I discovered desperation in my life. I am not sorry for these lessons in living. I found a new compassion for those who have so little. I have been humbled by this experience and perhaps made more understanding of others who live in such different places and in lives that are nothing like mine. Those who live as have generations before them trying to just survive day to day with starvation, war, homelessness, violence. These are my people, too. It doesn't matter whether they live in Oregon or in Africa or China or the North Pole. We are all one people whose survival depends on one another.

In my time of despair, I found my writing. I found an outlet that gave me a voice as well as a place for reflection. I had worked with kids at risk and know that they search until they find their gifts. I know that schools cutting programs, teachers and counselors will result in more violence.

It is time for hope. It is time for the peacemakers to do their jobs. It is time for those who seek good to be active. It is time for us all to care about each other. Time to seek the goodness in others. It is time to put away blame and heal as individuals and as nations.

I went to work yesterday with tears in my eyes and determination to make a difference. I worked hard to find the smile in each customer. I wished them a happy holiday by looking directly into their eyes and meaning every word. I touched the arms of those looking for sympathy cards and gave them my warmest regards. I did not just wait on customers. I cared about each and every one. A gentleman came into the store full of grumpiness. He snapped at one of our workers. I waited on him at the register noticing that his hands were purple. I looked into his eyes and told him that I hoped he would feel better soon. His anger abated and his manner changed. It is so simple this love we can give one another. Instead of talking about ourselves, we need to listen and care about those around us. Instead of barreling through our lives, we need to see the people around us. Oh, people, we are hope. We are the answer.

It is a time of good cheer. Good cheer that may not be easy to find, but it is there. Small steps lead to great strides.

A snowflake is one of God's most fragile creations, but look what they can when they stick together...Anon.

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