We Belong to One Another

On Christmas Eve, I always need to take at least an hour and get out into the holiday energy. It began as a boy when my dad, who commenced his Christmas shopping around 2:00 on the 24th, would take me with him to Cox’s department store and load up gifts for mom. Every year, the bedraggled but somehow still standing folks in the the gift wrapping department knew they could pack up their silver paper and red bows for the season as soon as they finished with my dad and his boxes .

I’ve carried on a version of this tradition, venturing out for a few final stocking stuffers and a couple items we don’t need from the grocery. Some years I cave and buy eggnog that I’ll drink alone. Really, I’m heading out to see the smiles and feel the joy. These gifts are too rare these days. There’s so little we share, so little that feels neighborly, so little that makes me believe maybe we still remember that we belong to one another.

This year on Christmas Eve, I found myself at Aldi where a scruffy, white-bearded man in jeans and a black and grey flannel checked out in front of me. Among his items was a dozen roses. After paying, he pulled out one rose and handed it to the cashier. She blushed, said thank you. On his way out, he handed a rose to every cashier in the row. One fellow leaned against his cart, waiting for a woman swiping her card through the machine. The white bearded florist tapped the fellow on the shoulder. “Give this to her,” he said, pointing to the woman.

The gift-giver rolled his cart out the sliding doors, leaving a trail of red roses and warm hearts.

Some of us remember.

4 Replies to “We Belong to One Another”

  1. Winn, Thanks for sharing this story. The joy that man gave will last forever as this story is shared — all for the price of a dozen roses. May we all in 2022 seek out ways to bring others joy.

  2. Winn, I love this story and you got a little of what you were looking for!! Answered prayers!
    “Love and Joy come to you”

  3. Listened to the Tevivsre podcast interview with you on Eugene. Appreciated “silence.” Spring, 1872, soccer field behind Gothic structure of Vancouver School of Theology which housed Regent College. Morning break, gloriously sunny interlude in days of rain. I sat mesmerized by 100’s of red breasted robins cavorting on the field. From around the corner of the building, older middle aged Haida Indian from the Wueen Charlotte Islands, calls out “you would make a great Indian.” Pulling up alongside me he continued “the white man comes upon an Indian looking out on a lake and challenges him, ‘why don’t you do something..’. The Indian replies, ‘I am..’” He concluded, “my sister and I can be together in the living room of our cabin, not say a word, and carry on a great conversation.”

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