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Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Visitation

I think, from time to time, if we're lucky, we have visits from angels. Just during our daily lives, while we're doing regular things.
This happened to me today.

About 2:30 I heard the sound of somebody thumping slowly with the aid of a cane down the hall toward my office. I was busy working and kept at it until out of the corner of my eye
I saw a tall white-haired old man appear in the doorway.
We smiled at each other and as he worked his way toward my desk, I shuffled my papers together and greeted him.

Hi! How y'doin'?
Pretty good! I just hit ninety.
God love ya! What can I do for you?
I live up at the old folks home up here and I want to sell things in a parking lot. I've seen people doing that.
Yup, that's an outdoor market. Where are you thinkin' of doing that?
In the shopping center up there on Main Street.

I told him that he could do that, invited him to sit down and as soon as I finished faxing this application to "somebody else who just called," I'd get busy and give him what he needed.
That's fine, he said.
As he sat and waited he wheezed and clicked a little.

He had laid on my desk two ears of Indian corn wrapped and tied with raffia and artificial autumn leaves and flowers.
As soon as I got the fax sent, I picked it up.
This is pretty . . . what's this?
That's what I want to sell.
I turned this way and that. You have a good eye!
That's what I did. I sold flowers.
Yeah? Where?
Oh, different shops. Down in the city.

I admired the arrangement for its color and its sparkles, and as I checked the law and got the forms he needed, I asked
How much y'gonna sell these for?
Five dollars. This is only a small one. This would be five dollars. I have bigger ones. All different ones. It's something to do.
I nodded. It's worth it. I have a basket in my kitchen. In the spring I put fake tulips in it. In the fall I put fake leaves like this in it. It's color. It's the first thing I see when I walk in the door and it makes me happy.
He said Do you know what flowers say to you?
What?
They say, "I want to make you happy!"
Yes! I said. The colors! They just make me happy. Even the flowers along the side of the road . . . the chicory and the trefoil...
He nodded eagerly.
At one time I was selling flowers at five different Interstate stops. I'd go out and pick 'em and sell 'em to people who stopped. The women would say "Oh! Where did you find such beautiful flowers?" and I'd say (an offhand gesture) "Out in the back yard!" He chuckled.
One time I was selling flowers on the street y'know, and a woman stopped and said to the man with her, "Look at the flowers," and he said, "I don't like flowers." I don't like flowers! Can you imagine that? Now, what kind of life do you think he has?
We shook our heads at each other in sadness over the waste, on such a one, of beauty for free, if only we would see.

During all this I had been finding and printing the law for outdoor markets and the applications and getting some information for him for the application. I explained the process to him and he said
Of course, Of course.

When we'd finished he put the arrangement centered on my desk blotter.
Since you like these things you can have this.
Oh! I said. I'll put it on the door!
That's what they're for, he said.

He leaned forward and held out his hand.
You've been very pleasant and helpful . . . and efficient! He twinkled at me.
Well I'm glad to help!

Do you need the elevator?
Oh that elevator's tricky. I'll take the stairs. I'll be careful.

And he turned and left, papers in hand.

I had to stop working and just think and feel for a few minutes.
I got up and pinned the arrangement to the bulletin board outside my office and stood and admired it.
I have quite firmly concluded that I had a visit from an angel today.

4 comments:

Wanda said...

If he wasn't an angel...he was an angel of a man. I hope he sells all of his creations...I'd buy one!

Teresa @ Grammy Girlfriend said...

Loved this post....So GLAD to find your blog....I enjoyed my stop tonight. There are so many new and fun blogs that I am finding everyday. Hope you will stop by and see my new Christmas blog... http://grammyababychangeseverything.blogspot.com
There is a GREAT giveaway going on now for a Great Ornament Giveaway on Oct 1....all you have to do is leave a comment.....I love finding new blogs and make new blog friends.

Carolynn said...

What a lovely gentleman. I want to meet him!

Anxiety Bites Me said...

what a lovely post. thank you! your blog is great...