I don’t like most holidays–days that line us up like children and make us have the same answer, the same expression, that make us color with the same crayons the same shape the same emotion, and worse: that pressure us to express ourselves with the contents of our wallets. Fucking Scrooge, I know. But yeah, this day has me thinking about love and what that means and who doesn’t have it and why there isn’t enough to go around. And I do wonder if we love our parents, our partners, our children, our fellow shoppers and walkers and passersby and passengers etc more, and in small ways, and in expressive ways and in ways that let them know we love them, even without saying it; I wonder if that kind of love, small as it can be, is the ripple, the stir that becomes tidal, becomes wave big enough to thaw ice. I think of this poem by Naomi Shihab Nye, from her book Red Suitcase, which your independent bookseller can order for you.


A man crosses the street in rain,
stepping gently, looking two times north and south,
because his son is asleep on his shoulder.

No car must splash him.
No car drive too near to his shadow.

This man carries the world’s most sensitive cargo
but he’s not marked.
Nowhere does his jacket say FRAGILE,

His ear fills up with breathing.
He hears the hum of a boy’s dream
deep inside him.

We’re not going to be able
to live in this world
if we’re not willing to do what he’s doing
with one another.

The road will only be wide.
The rain will never stop falling.


Here’s more about Naomi Shihab Nye.

Here’s her poem read by a Lake Wobegonian.

I hope today and every day you love your loves and they love you back.