Thursday, February 19, 2009

New Dawn...

It's a new day. To quote the line from a song an old, dear friend wrote, "Light of a new morning shines on my face...I feel I've been gifted, been granted a new kind of grace." Yes...every new morning is a gift holding within itself unseen possibilities and surprises you'd never dream were to come.
It always amazes me at the end of a day what has occured during the span between waking and sleeping. Sometimes its 'mundane' and 'routine' things that are most obvious, but often there will be something so out-of-the ordinary that just 'makes' the day. This winter, on a number of cold days, there were icey 'growths' of about 2-3" coming up from the loose areas in the ground. We've yet to figure out why these oblong bits grew, or how they did, but the little ice gardens were fun to observe and to wonder about.
One morning I was in Watermill, and I needed to go to the post office. Since the one in my hometown was usually difficult to get to, and I was already parked there in Watermill, I decided it was the perfect time to 'get in and get out' quickly. There was a line of three or four in front of me, and as I stood, I took note of the desk clerk. She was patient, she was friendly, and she was talkative. I also noted that she was somewhat 'decorated'. All over the front of her blue uniform shirt, she had rhinestone brooches pinned. There were flowers and bugs, butterflies and dragonflies, among others. In here pierced ears were dangling earrings that reached nearly to her shoulders...and the one on the left didn't match the one on the right. Her large eyes were made up with purple eye shadow, and her cheeks were bright with a creamy blush. She was a light-skinned African-American woman, and she'd clipped her hair tight to her head, nearly a 'crew cut'. She'd bleached it a platinum blonde, and decorated it with a small hair clip which held a butterfly on a spring, so that everytime she moved her head, the colorful butterfly would sway.
When it was my turn to be serviced, the woman gave me a big, toothy smile and a cheery 'good morning'. I returned the gesture, and offered that she shone like a Christmas tree. I meant her personality, but she looked down at her shirt and said, "I do, don't I? I LOVE pins!"
Following that lead, I told her that I admired her ability to step out of the ordinary mode and just be herself. She thanked me and said she'd always been that way. Somehow we got into a conversation about writing, and she asked me if I could wait a moment while she took care of the last person in line. She wanted to show me something. I waited.
The clerk came around from the counter and led me to a bench on the sidewalk near the street. She told me the story of a homosexual man who had lost his partner. She'd written a beautiful poem for the survivor and she gave it to him. Months later, he had it put onto a bronze plaque. It was installed in the sidewalk, beneath the bench which was donated in memory of the deceased man.
Ruby Dee showed me in less than half an hour how you can make a big difference in someone's day. Treat everyone with kindness and with a big smile. You never know but you might be the person they remember, the way I remember that brief time with Ruby Dee.