Saturday, December 24, 2016
On the Eleventh Day of a Feminine Christmas
This illustration is feminine Christmas at its best. Her chic red dress and winter-white coat make a beauty mark on the snowy landscape. But it's her serene and peaceful face that brings the real grace to the image.
Yesterday I was feeling pretty full of myself - my packages are wrapped, my baking is all laid out, and I planned everything so I didn't have to leave the house today. But on the way to dinner last night, the car slowed to a stop in front of a bus stop near the restaurant where I was to have supper. Since I was a passenger in the car, my eyes scanned for a long while at the bleak grey shelter where riders sat to wait for buses. Standing in the cold were a man and woman who were obviously together. I wondered for a moment where they were going outside the city and surmised they had both left their jobs and were heading home. They were nearly elderly and looked tired. As we sat in traffic, I saw the woman take a single powdery donut from a paper bag and heartily bite into it with her back towards the street. Then she turned and gave the rest to the man. I was close enough to recognize the paper bag from a bakery about 3 blocks away - a long walk with dual crossing lanes in heavy traffic to the bus stop.
Now I know nothing about the couple at the bus stop and everything I have written is supposition. Yet somehow, I felt a tenderness for the pair and wondered what their Christmas would be like. All through dinner, I couldn't stop thinking about them sharing that donut in the dreary bus stop surrounded by trucks and car horns and exhaust fumes. And it made me wonder if I had done enough this season for others. I was involved in making baskets for an organization that helps families and I contributed to a Secret Santa drive at work but I could have done more. And while I ate my meal, I thought about that too.
Last night I found a local church that is still accepting donations of canned goods. Today I am doing a market run for them. I've already talked to the woman who runs the program and since I've been to the church before I plan on finding out what kind of outreach they do the rest of the year too. It's the least I can do and it's pitiful.
I have made some other suppositions regarding the picture I chose for this post. I have concluded that the lovely lady's face in my Christmas image comes from knowing deep inside that she made a small difference this season. As she runs off in the snow in her head band of holly and ivy to whatever festivities she has planned, she knows she did her best. And that's why she's so beautiful.