Commute

Rushing. Weaving. In and out between the swarm of absent-minded people unconscious of the world around them.
I’m drained from my desk job. Drained from this “Corporate America” where I find myself wishing to travel far and wide.
The heels of my feet ache with each step forward. The leather that encapsulates them are worn in, losing its rigid shape. I can feel the hard cement beneath me as I walk to Port Authority.
I guiltily drown my mind with music, giving the journey a soundtrack to help quiet my thoughts.
The city is dressed in Christmas attire, welcoming family and friends with warm and open arms. Filled with pop-up shops and food stands, Bryant Park glows with joy, but I’m a dark figure that cuts through the lights, using the jubilant platform as a short cut.
People huddle by the candle shop near the ice-skating rink. They all stand and take in the warm sweet aromas emitted by the melting wax.
Then it suddenly hits me as I walk by.
That sweet smell of something familiar fills me with warmth.
Suddenly, I’m 10 again.
I’m standing in front my Christmas tree holding a hand-sewn ornament my Mom-Mom made. A small red cloth candy cane, like a tiny pillow with a pin to hang on the tree. I thought it was odd to have a soft ornament, but I always wondered what my Mom-Mom looked like when she made it. My Mom-Mom, who grew up in the poor south, was a sweet southern woman with the biggest heart in the world. I miss her.
As I keep walking I embrace the ache in my sore feet. They ache because I am healthy enough to go on this journey and enjoy it alongside family and friends. I embrace where I am, right here and now with every ache and swirl of emotions running through my blood stream because I am blessed.
I examine the bundled-up crowd of people drawn to the sweet-smelling shop like bees on the first day of spring. Picking up candles, inhaling the sweet scent, and closing their eyes shut with indulgence. Are they filled with familiar smells drawing out memories in their minds?
I slow my pace and look around. I feel the air rush against my face and the heaviness of gravity on my shoulders.
I continue to head down the street, take my headphones out, and listen to the city around me.

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