Of bravery and Buddha, winter and spring

Categorized as Rhonda's Posts

After he’s gone and I’ve written a bit, I pack my girlish backpack, grab my BOP (Bright Orange Purse) and dash over to his office. He waves me back to the inner sactum where he’s meeting with clients. “You have a fan,” he says, smiling. “Come.”

I slip ’round the door jamb. This stranger, she’s beaming at me. “You’re wonderful!” she says, face aglow.

She reads the column. My words bring joy, and it makes me happy.

Dashing home, I grab my boys. They’re home for fall break, but The Guppy needs shots, so off we go.  What direction is this now?

My Little, he’s a soldier. Four pokes, four sticks. Two in the left, two in the right. He doesn’t flinch. Doesn’t cry. He’s got two brave arms, that one does, and it makes me happy.

It’s those two brave arms, I think as we drive in yet another direction, that have been crafting like house afire. Tracing, snipping, cutting, gluing, taping and coloring, my dining room bears the proof in scraps and smudges of a little boy’s joy in creating. I’m wiping up glue, picking up pieces. He’s coloring happiness, fashioning beauty, and it makes me happy.

Off we go again to drop Mr. Middle School at a friend’s house. Pulling into his drive, I see it.

It’s Buddha in ceramics, perched in a place of honor before the house. I’m struck every single time, seeing the fresh fruit placed carefully on a platter for the idol who cannot see, cannot hear, cannot save.

I’m sobered. The boy who lives here, it’s his mama who’s devout. He, the boy, is kind, respectful. Soft spoken, polite. We love him, this wonderful friend-of-our-boy.  It was this one, raised by a Buddhist mama, who stayed sitting one day with our son. Who watched, horrified, as the others – church kids not raised by Buddhist mamas – left the table when the boy who was different came to sit.  Looking at that statue with the fruit, it makes me hurt.

Driving home now, Little and his brave arms in the car seat behind me, I think of old friends who lived nearby.  And I think of what’s happened. How tragedy came. How divorce, it ripped them right up. Lives broken, hearts shattered. They would’ve celebrated the big one, like us, this year. It makes me hurt.

Nearing home, I’m drinking in the glory of autumn. The trees, aflame. The carpet of gold, leaves laid down like a blanket.  Winter, I know, is coming with its barrenness and chill. But after that, the spring, glorious spring.

Pain (I know this, too), the winter of the soul, is always followed by spring, glorious spring. This, today, makes me happy.

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