Let me tell you about some sweetness. Because in the midst of challenges, there is almost always some sweetness. Here is mine. Help yourself.
Yesterday was a day of travel and exploring as I accompanied a friend to a new-to-me city, a few hours away. He wanted to buy a pick-up truck and I wanted a distraction, an adventure. I also wanted to check out the famous "car tianguis," an outdoor market just for cars.
Two and a half hours on the comfortable bus, eating tacos and chocolate cookies as vendors walked in and out of the bus at various stops.
Once in the city, the air was cooler than on the coast and we looked at several trucks, me being instructed to walk away if a salesperson approached us so that my accent would not get in the way of financial negotiations.
Deciding to make a brainstorming pause for a lunch of grilled chicken, rice and salad at a little place that shared my nickname, we discussed the merits of the various trucks. For me, it was mainly about the color so I wasn't much help.
The owners of the small outdoor restaurant were eating also - a couple and their little girl - and we exchanged some words and smiles.
The chicken gone (and shared with a street dog), I hear the bell of the ice cream man's pushcart.
For the last three decades, ever since my kids were tiny, I have experienced a Pavlovian reaction to the ice cream cart's bell, no matter which country I am in or what I might be doing.
I am instantly up from my chair and right by the cart, excited to meet whatever ice cream I may have not yet encountered.
I ask for counsel from the vendor and am handed a coconut-covered chocolatey thing of beauty. As I am looking for my pesos, I catch the eyes of the owners' little girl and I recognize the look in them.
She, like me, appreciates ice cream very much.
With or without words I ask her if she would like one and she is immediately standing next to me, picking the same deliciousness as the one I got.
Back in our little plastic restaurant chairs, we are both licking our ice creams while the grown-ups talk about truck stuff.
And then it's time to leave. We pay and we wave goodbye, the little girl sharing a smile of sisterhood with me as we make our way back to rows of cars. She is missing a few teeth and is adorable.
We decide to walk around the block, see if there is something new we have not yet seen.
The block is large and not quite straight and it takes us about 15 minutes to get back where we started. Specifically to the small restaurant.
And there she is, my ice cream sister. Waiting for us.
As we walk by, she smiles really big and hands me a beautiful little cellophane bag with six pink, plump, and perfect marshmallows.
Strawberry marshmallows are my favorite. So is kindness.
She probably didn't know how much I needed this simple, quiet act of sweetness, of connection. This girl time, too.
She surely did not know how much she reminded me of my friend's daughter, my friend's daughter who will never get to hand her mama a pink marshmallow or share a coconut-covered ice cream.
In retrospect I wonder how she knew we would come back this way. I did not know. But she did.
I ate the whole bag and my heart was fuller than my mouth.
Angels every freaking where.
SCARED OF THE SACRED