Gift wrapped

Published 8:42 am Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Like presents, they are everywhere, waiting to be unpackaged.

• That old man walking with a limp.

• The clang of a prison door.

• A newborn, gazing at her mother for the first time.

• Brown hair on Wednesday, blonde on Thursday.

• Skull and crossbones, embedded in skin.

• That boy over there appearing so shy.

• That man on his sixth piece of pizza.

• The auction on the courthouse steps.

• Middle-aged lady leaving the hospital with tears in her eyes.

• The black cow, towering over the calf with the white mustache.

• On the river, mid October, light breeze blowing.

• At the nursing home, in the corner, chin on chest.

• The “creeeeek” in that old hardwood floor.

• Stepping on the school bus, turning to wave goodbye.

• An ambulance, slipping around cars at a red light.

• Fifteen inches of rain in three days.

• Blue ribbon on the mailbox.

• An arrowhead, barely covered, daring to show itself.

They are all around us, I tell you. Stories. Wonderful, embedded, rich stories.

Not just events or scenes, but a picture of a thousand things that took place to get to that point, full of history and movement and life. Scenes that tell, pregnant with meaning.

Don’t see them, you say?

I venture you an exercise. Wherever you are sipping coffee, relaxing at the cafe, sitting at your desk, lounging in your chair — arise and find the nearest restroom. Enter and stand before that flat, reflective panel over the sink.

Consider the scene before you.

Now that, my friend, is a story.