Great joy, especially after sudden change of circumstances,
is apt to be silent,
and dwells rather in the heart than on the tongue.
Friday was the day I was going to go out and find that holiday spirit that had been waiting to be discovered after some necessary distractions, but with the distraction now on hold, nothing was going to stop me.
I made my way down the deserted highway heading to the city passing tractors, combines and bins spilling corn seed on the frozen ground covered with a thin layer of snow, I could see the remaining corn stalks sticking up in the now empty fields. This had me wonder about the once known as the harvest season and what that really means now; could the harvest season be something without a time limit in this modern world of ours. Our ancestors would be amazed.
Entering the city limits the traffic and noise picked up, and I knew I needed to concentrate on my surroundings. Once out of the rushing traffic and parked in a sea of automobiles in that hustling bustling city then squeezed into a boxed building I immersed myself in the loud festive music coming from speakers over my head where floating tinsel shimmered and shiny red and green bells dangled on strings hanging from the rafters, where the lights twinkled on fake trees scattered randomly and products of every imagined kind lined the walls. I did not have to worry about which direction I wanted to go as the crowd seemingly scooped me up and pulled me along as if I were one of those walking wobbling yellow wooden ducks on wheels that you would pull behind on a long string as a child. I remembered my own wooden duck from my childhood and I smiled.
There were huge replicas of Tin Soldiers towering over and watching every move I made they were dressed in a familiar uniform that had me reminiscing of a Tin Soldier fairy tale of long ago. The Brave Tin Soldier by Hans Christian Anderson fairy tale was a story I had heard many times as a child. I could see one of them smiling and I swear he winked at me, as if he knew what I was doing, and a smile crossed my face and I have to admit that it felt incredible.
I bumped into an old friend who filled my head with corny jokes and laughter. Sharing a magic trick with a pair of dice that still has me puzzled as to how it worked and reminding me of a childhood long ago full of wonder. Our now I must admit a little loud and uncontrollable laughter burst forth in the middle of this aimlessly wandering and searching crowd bringing laughter bursting from the lips of strangers who were passing by trying to find their own holiday spirit.
I left the festive but still only a huge box building full of shoppers and holiday spirit empty handed but with a smile and a very different frame of mind. As I rounded a corner in the busy traffic of the city I could see off to the side of the highway a young woman struggling with a huge over stuffed suitcase trying to drag it through the frozen mud and leftover dirty snow banks. I did not hesitate I pulled over and rolled my window down to ask if she was heading to the train or the bus station, I could tell she was a student from those days of experiencing and knowing that my own girls long ago had done the same thing I am sure, during this festive time of year.
The wind was blustery and the temperature a very frigid -13c, if you factored in the wind chill, this was not a place anyone should be out struggling wearing a thin be it stylish jacket. I reassured her that I was a Mom of two girls and that is how I recognized her need and I would love to take her to the station if she would let me. After hesitating for just a moment she trusted her instinct and knew she indeed needed help and I was going to provide that.
Throwing the suitcase in the back seat and popping into the front beside me, I could see she was shivering, I told her my name and she told me hers. She was indeed a student trying to get home to her family for the holidays after a brutal week of exams and kept thanking me over and over. We continued down the highway and she could then see how far it really was. Her smile and laughter mixed with my smile and laughter warmed both our hearts. Parking in front of the station she hauled that heavy suitcase out of the backseat and thanked me. “Have a wonderful holiday”. You too, I shouted back. I watched as she struggled with that overstuffed, no doubt with Christmas presents and dirty laundry suitcase, through those open doors of the station, and I knew that she would indeed be safe and warm, and soon be home with her family. I thought of my girls soon doing the same thing.
Once again I pulled out on to the bustling double lane highway with a huge smile and a holiday spirit that was now embedded deep in my soul, I glanced over to my left.
There sat Santa Claus all dressed in his familiar red cap and a full white fluffy beard. He stared at me and I stared at him in the middle of the stalled traffic, he winked and we both smiled and I giggled thinking of Santa driving a forest green Subaru and not a sleigh.
Fa la la la la.