this morning, i woke up feeling a bit sick and was running extremely late to work. but as i drove, i saw a lady on the side of the road with a sign that said "tamales, $1" on it.
i thought to myself, ah, i wish i could but i'm already running so late... then i realized that i might not see her again, as i'd usually already be at work by that time. and then it struck me what that thought implied: i was in my car. was on my way to work. to sit in a comfy (and might i add, bouncy) chair in a nicely heated room in front of an expensive computer to make a decent chunk of money by designing cool-looking things.
i abruptly turned left onto a side road. i pulled over and checked my wallet. the only cash i had was my $2 bill. i felt like it would be kind of odd, giving her a $2 bill... shoot, i thought, well maybe i can get some cash and come by again when i don't work on friday....
so i pulled out to turn left to continue to work, when it donned on me -- duh, kristin. a $2 bill is still legitimate money. i turned right and pulled into the street next to where she was standing. as i approached her, she saw me and turned, putting her sign down. she was a sweet, tiny lady with a pure face.
as we greeted each other, her face honestly just completely lit up. i couldn't believe how happy she was that i was buying one little tamale. she had a happy, almost singsongy voice, with an innocent little girl quality. she spoke to me in spanish, which i understood, as i pulled out my 3 years of rusty high school spanish from the back of my brain in an attempted response. regardless, it didn't matter what language we spoke -- we didn't need to communicate with words to make each other's day. i bought my tamale, explaining that i needed no change, thanked her, and we parted.
right before i saw her, i had passed a cement barrier on the side of the road, where someone had pinned a series of pieces of paper in a line. on each paper there was a letter. the letters created the simple phrase "see the lovely."
right as i drove away, "where are you Christmas" came on the radio. yeah, it can be pretty overdone, but this time i think i heard it differently. i couldn't believe that i had tears in my eyes, but it was because that song embodied exactly just how i've been feeling this season. and then i paid attention to the last verse. and in the light of the experience i just had……