I’m up at 4:40, dodging Bambi in the dark of early morning to get to my desk in the city by 6:45. By the time I return home, it’s dark again but for rush hour’s dingy headlights.
I rarely see December’s light of day, typically a busy time of year for me at work.
But this day a sad, empty wallet coaxes me to put on my tired boots to visit the cash machine across the street.
I soon notice a group of smiling school kids singing “Jingle Bells”. They’re jumping off the steps of a school bus to visit the one department store left in town with its annual Christmas display.
Visions of animated reindeer and Mrs. Claus suddenly dance in my head, so I decide to join in on the fun.
I move quickly in with the line, dancing figure eights around strollers and the students. I stop only long enough to see Santa’s magical elves read the children’s wish lists and watch musical, tall twinkling Christmas trees take their final bows after their performance.
I buy a freshly baked gingerbread man on the way out. I carefully munch around the edges, feet first/head last as I join shoppers back on the busy street below. I stop to look back at the majestic, ornate old building one last time.
For just a moment I am a small child again, dressed as a ‘proper young lady’, visiting the city with Grandma to visit St. Nick and the big display.
I am excited and in awe of the pretty white gloved elevator operators, decked out in blue uniforms, pushing buttons for any floor we might want to see.
I taste the warm chicken pot pie and steaming popovers from the store’s restaurant Grandma would always treat me to once every holiday season.
But my ringing phone suddenly is a wake up call that I need to get back to my desk.
I pick up my pace just as gray skies overhead gift me a spray of gentle white snowflakes.
Beautiful, intricate patterns they land on my lashes, nose, and tongue.
Just like when I was five.
Entering my office building, I hurry back up to my desk.
Stirring the now cold coffee I left 45 minutes ago, with the candy cane Santa had given me.
My coffee has never tasted so good, or as sweet.
Oh what fun……it still is.