February 19: Strands of beads glistened in gold, green and purple. Two tiny centerpieces smiled at us. Napkins fanned around donut holes and a King Cake. Ok, so yesterday was not actually Fat Tuesday, but the mistake made our staff meeting very sweet indeed.
February 20: My ankle and I had reached an agreement, and we were both reasonably happy. My ankle let me walk to the Metro, and I treated it to a ride up the elevator (instead of my usual huffing run). My reward? A rested ankle and 15 blissful seconds of just “being.” No focus, no goal, no exertion as I emerged onto the platform. Oh why can’t I hold onto that peace when I start moving again?
February 21: Somewhere with the odd socks and Christmas receipts, my water bottle is lost in the house. So off to Target I went. Heart-shaped eyeglasses, curling eyelashes, and the cutest mother-daughter expressions I could hope for. The Valentines Day discount bin treated me very well.
February 22: Signs of spring on a beautiful late winter afternoon: A bike leaning against our curb while a child plays on our swing set. The smell of mulch. The call and response of birds and children. The scratch of leaves raked from beds and a neighbor’s hello. A bare foot dangling from a bright red hammock where I see nothing but the foot, a blue-jean leg and the top of a book. A bouquet of red tips on a young tree. And (best?) a spring training broadcast on the phone in my pocket.
February 23: “Runner! Runner!” The ten-year old scooted to our table carrying a shoebox filled with plastic bags of rice, soy and vitamins. The system was elegant: scoop, weigh, adjust, seal, label, count, pack, done. The stereo blasted energy and joy, and people moved fast and happy. On behalf of Rise Against Hunger, our band — kindergartners to seniors — packed 14,000 bags of emergency nutrients for people all over the world. In our church’s fellowship hall, we contributed a grain of sand to a beach of need. And for an hour we lived a giving Gospel of service and generosity.
February 24: I saw bits of dappled light on the door to Nate’s old room. I wandered in. Maybe it was the time of day and the time of year, but the delicate morning light illuminated the window shade in a way that looked holy. I said my prayers standing there: reverence in an unusual place.
February 25: Most mornings, the boys and I would visit a construction site on our way to day care. One morning, a worker offered Nate a hard hat and a seat on a backhoe high above the enormous pit we watched grow. I thought of that this morning as a small bobcat loader crawled toward me alongside the park. I waved and smiled; the driver waved and smiled back. Where are you, Nate?
Bonus: Heard at the Metro: “Girl Scout cookies! Come and get it! We take Apple Pay — and also credit!”
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