Saturday, December 7, 2013

Advent Cartwheels

Saturday of the First Week of Advent

For you will give him everlasting felicity
   and will make him glad with the joy of your presence.  Psalm 21:6

The moment I see the school bus ahead of me, I know I have made a grave miscalculation. School has just dismissed; I should have chosen a different route at this time of day.

I brake as the lights of the bus flash signaling that it is about to make a stop to let off passengers. I wonder how many stops it will make before I am able to turn onto another street. But thankfully, I am able to turn at the next block--only I had forgotten that this is the very street of the middle school itself. Now I am stuck. The light is green but traffic is at a standstill as young teens pour from the school and swarm across the streets ushered by crossing guards in bright green vests.

There is nothing for it. For a moment I contemplate making some kind of drastic U-turn to get out of the mess, but then I resign myself to patience. And just as I approach the intersection, I see him--the boy steps into the crosswalk and executes an outrageous cartwheel, backpack and all.

What a gift.  What would possess a middle-school boy to demonstrate such abandon, such non-conformity, such bliss? Having completed his gymnastic move, he continues nonchalantly on his way. No crowd around him, no fans egging him on, simply a boy enjoying himself.

He unknowingly brightens my heart. Christ as a twelve-year-old, doing cartwheels in the temple and astonishing the adults. 

The traffic eases and I continue on my way, giving thanks for obstacles that slow me down and remind me to notice joy.

Copyright Anne E. Kitch 2013