Friday, February 19, 2016

A promise

It was a cold cold morning as I took the ramp from the highway to a side road.  I approached the red light and from a distance I saw this figure.   Very thin and a gaunt physique.  He was holding a cardboard sign.  My thoughts were on him, the cold day, and it touched me deeply.  As I fumbled for some change I was glad the light had turned red, and he approached the car.  I handed him the bill that was in my pocket.  I looked him in the eyes, noticing the lines on his face and thinking how life had weathered him, and said: "now you take care".   He thanked me and said "I will, I don't drink".  Then he leaned closer towards the car and said: "now you promise me that you will keep smiling!"  I smiled at him, with wet eyes I drove away and looked back at him through the rear view mirror. 

This morning the incident came back to me.   Each promise we make, to anyone, is a promise to ourself.  People are the conduit, a reminder.

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