Beyond the almost empty parking lot, the silhouettes of the old Carnegie Library and a two story house rise up against the dawning sky. Large oaks and maples and a solitary spruce rise up even higher. Clusters of smaller branches sprout out from the nodes, stretching black against the long fingers of pink clouds. A lone car eases to a stop on Fifth Avenue, then continues north.
Three flags rise up also into the morning, each slack against the pole in the stillness of this December morning.
A local station rolls whatever version of the morning news is produced by their affiliated network. The President, the Republicans, the issues or at least whatever it is I am supposed to believe are issues. There are problems, it appears, and of course the worse possible response is whatever the other side is suggesting.
I turn off the news, focus on the work at hand and the deliberate memories of last night’s company: laughter around the tables, songs and stories in the living room, the smiles of children. Even washing the dishes is pleasant after such visits as this.
As I wiped each glass and plate, rinsed each bowl, I reflected on the voices and faces of my visitors, the jokes and stories shared in the kitchen. The cleaning was done within an hour but the warmth remains even on this chilly morning. The light curl of moist breath rolls and rises like the feel of good memories.
He who listens to the laughter of children hears the preamble of heaven; he who holds a child feels the touch of God.