Commentary by Donna Monday
I’m rich. I really am. I have a full tank of gas and a little white car on four round, full-of-air tires (thanks to service guys who inflated them).
I have groceries, and I just paid all my bills. There’s little left in my account, but I am rich.
I have happy, healthy, children with happy, healthy spouses. I have happy, healthy grandchildren. We all have homes, and we have each other. We have beds to sleep in, furnaces for winter, air conditioners for summer. We are blessed.
I also have the blessing of wonderful neighbors. One of them – with the help of his daughter, a tractor, and a wheelbarrow – just delivered me a pile of wood. When I say pile of wood I mean a great big, vertical pile of wood. A whole rack of wood, sawed down himself. I look at that beautiful stack of wood and all the shades of brown, charcoal and black; and what I see is warmth.
In my mind, I see my fireplace and the all the fires that wood will make. I see myself and people I love in front of that fireplace. I see logs unraveling rings and rings, years and years, of tree growth into red, yellow and blue flames.
We are all warmed, as are our spirits, through the generosity of a neighbor.
Another neighbor, on the other side of my house, stands ready to push the snow from my driveway. He has a new truck, and he and that truck will give me and my little white car freedom this winter. Freedom to get to the grocery, the library, the doctor, the grandchildren. Freedom to say “yes” to needs and invitations. “Yes,” I can help with the kids. “Yes,” I can get to exercise class, yoga and book club. “Yes,” I am okay.
Insofar as possible, these two neighbors are trying to keep me warm and safe this winter.
Another neighbor, this one across the street, added to my blessings last week with a special invitation. As a child, it was always special to be chosen to go out to dinner with the “birthday girl” and her family.
I’m here to tell you it’s still special. This time the birthday girl was celebrating 80-something. She asked me along, she said, because, “I’ve shared those wonderful fires.” (There’s that wood again.)
Like I said before, I am rich.