Seeing The Light through The Garbage

You must be kidding me.  THAT’S where the sun rises?

Each morning as I climb  up on my minivan and jockey through the neighborhood for school drop-offs, I look to the sky and I say the same thing..just ask my kids.

“I wish we could see that sunrise..see that pink (or red, or orange, or yellow, depends) sky?  Oh, I betcha it’s gorgeous!  Somewhere, there’s a view of a spectacular sunrise around here!  Isn’t it beautiful, guys?!  LOOK AT THAT SKY!!” “I SAID LOOK AT THE SKY!”

My poor teens are tired of this routine, I am fairly certain.  My semi-comatose 15 year old, who has a sensitive soul, will at least humor me with a “nice”.  Sweet kid.

But this morning was different.  As I thundered towards the finish line to the middle school , galloping down the same side street that I have for 18 years….THERE IT WAS.

Jesus, Mary and Joseph.

Through the empty parking lot, behind the dumpsters of the neighborhood seafood restaurant.

MY SUN RISE.

I squealed in my son’s left ear, which I am sure is still ringing.

“Keep going Mom, we’re going to be late..you can go back..Mom..it’s the sun..it’s been here for millions of years..the earth revolves around it..”

Smart ass.

With seconds to spare, I raced back to the dumpsters, after a record  school drop off time..slowed down to fifteen, yelling “MOVE, MOVE, GO!” like the guy who pushes our Airborne troops out of the plane.

Sitting in the empty parking lot this morning, I photographed the sunrise with my cellphone.  It’s not even a good picture, and I’m sure there will be more spectacular sunrises to come..but that’s not the point.

It was beautiful, and deeply moving..to me. All these years of yearning for the perfect view, lamenting and scheming to pull up stakes, and it was right in my backyard, behind the dumpsters..could there be a more fitting cliche?

If I go missing before sunrise these days, you’ll know where to find me.sunrise behind the dumpster

The Lawn Man Cometh

First he came for Mary.

Then he came for Jean.

Now, he comes for Carol.

After the angels come for the husbands of Locust Drive,

And before they come for their widows,

the Lawn Man cometh.

lawn man tools

A weed whacker his scythe,

A hoodie his cloak.

A nod and a slight smile when I pass by,

even my friendly Labs cut a wide path,

his presence more unnerving than the skeletons and tombstones

poking playfully from the ground.

I step up my pace, a slight jog even

Oh, who am I fooling,

Lawn Man visits all of us,

sooner or later.

skeleton in ground

Gandhi At The Gas Pump

The simplest acts of kindness

are by far more powerful than

a thousand heads bowed in prayer – Mahatma Ghandi

“You ain’t scared or nothin’ are you hon?”  I was a little, actually…I was alone, no other customers around.   “It’s o.k. hon, I ain’t scaring you, right hon?”  The middle-aged, very disheveled  man, repeated over and again in the thick “Bawlmer” (Baltimore) accent so common in these parts.  I was trying to pump gas after the usual whirlwind morning of school drop off and grocery store run before heading to work.

“Don’t worry hon, I won’t hurt you, hon.”  After my initial defense of no eye contact and looking towards the building to see if anyone was watching so they could identify my soon to be murderer..I realized he was digging through the trash can, looking for food.  Pulling out empty bags and junk food wrappers at a fast and furious pace, glancing at the same building that I had been, probably knowing he had limited time before being chased away.

“I ain’t scaring you, right hon??”

Oh, right..he probably scares the customers, gets shooed away by the owners of the gas station, while trying to lick the greasy remnants off a chip bag…probably every day of his pathetic life.

“No, I’m not scared”  I surprised myself.  I have made it a policy to not talk to crazy people after the guy in the grocery store parking lot threw up a gallon of booze on my shoes after asking me for money last summer.

He was moving faster, finally found an ice tea bottle with a good two swigs left in it.  I watched him carefully place all the trash back in , leaving no trace of his raid.  I asked him if he was hungry (duh.),  and asked him to wait..my minivan was full of groceries.

“Thanks hon”

Cried all the way home.

Help each other people.

trash can