dumpster diving and lighter than airPosted: November 28, 2012
Paper bags loaded, we step into the early winter morning. The girls arose earlier to count, sort and bag the papers, but though they shoulder the big packed bag bringing each paper to the porch or storm door, Mom and Dad don’t let a ten and a twelve walk their separate dark routes alone.
I accompany the notorious morning grouch ( a younger me ) and each step squeaks protest, a cold statement against the quiet morning. Every exhale a frosty cloud, as I offer light conversation. Like the ice crystals we exhale, each word vanishes, melted by her fierce glare beneath a furrowed brow. We move from house to house, past trash cans and pizza boxes placed out the night before. We walk her route in a furious, but comfortable silence.
“Oh look, there’s a pizza box. I can check for a piece. Would you like sausage or pepperoni? Maybe they left a bagel or a french fry.”
“Mmmmph!” Warmer, behind a hint of a smile.
All the houses and cans we pass bring another menu, and soon smiling she offers me culinary advice. Each step for me still breaks through the crust of snow as it protests, but I see paper bag half emptied she steps lightly across the hardened snow crust without leaving a trace.
May you always step lightly.