I dash amid the wheels of shopping carts, the grocery store in a pre Christmas skirmish of shoppers; hams and clementines topping the neighbors’ wares in the aisle with me. So much effort and love goes into these days of sharing and caring, it seems. I am a tad behind the curve this year, only selecting our tree this Sunday, actually finding the last one in town. Now, its’ bushy branches hoist my childhood ornaments of 50 years ago and my son’s tongue depressor reindeer from first grade. So prettily it twinkles now in colored baubles.
The thought I am gnawing on though was prompted in the market. Reaching for a cart, I backed up and brushed the heel of a woman leaving with her bags of food. A mere brush of my shoe and somehow she went into stock still frozen mode. I moved ahead and then glanced back…she still was frozen. I turned and went back to check on her…
“Are you Ok?” I ask.
“No. I have a back problem and now am in pain,” an icey voice and stoney glare ahead, not at me.
“I am sorry. I know about pain. Can I help you in some way?”I offer.
“No. No one can help me,” the tone, like cement.
“Should I help you wheel your cart?”
“I am sorry. I didn’t mean to hurt you. My foot just skimmed by your heel,” my sensing words express.
Stillness…no words, no eye contact.
I weave my energy from my heart towards hers….I stay still.
She looks at me oddly. I smile. She glowers.
“I hope you have a Merry Christmas,” I suggest.
“Not possible,”she mumbles.
Am I daunted? Am I put off? A bit……then a thought arises in me. Her cart is shallow in groceries compared to the others. Maybe she is alone?
“So, do you have family to help you?”
It was then that I felt her pain, more than the back, than the shoe skimming. It was the pain of lonliness. I knew that feeling.
I then heard weird words coming from me…..”Well, I hope the spirit of your ancestors visit you this Christmas. They can be a kind of company maybe?”
“Yes. I have already lit the candles for them,” the crackled woman says.
Finally, her eyes meet mine.
I smile. She tries to. I nod. She moves on, and I hear very faintly…..”God bless.”
I turn and enter into the maze of aisles.
God bless us all….alone, in company, in comfort, in peace, in need, in joy.