writing about the treasures in my life. I invite you to join me in writing a blog about someone, someplace, something that you consider a treasure. If you do, would you let me know by way of a comment. I'll be sure to visit you and read your thoughts. Thanks so much.
It looked like a war zone and a ghost town combined. Abandoned and torn down buildings were all that remained of this South Bronx block where in the past people had hung out to socialize on their stoops; to joke and kid around, to laugh, to share - good times and bad. But this autumn cold and dreary evening there was not a soul in sight. Night was slowly approaching. The grey dusk colored everything with gloom giving rise to an eerie sensation; a chilling fear of the dark unknown emptiness.
I sat in my car alone; tired from a long day of making home visits to poor inner city people struggling to keep their families intact, to raise their kids as best they could. I hoped my interventions helped and that as a young social worker my education made up for what I lacked in life experience.
I had taken a short cut and found myself in this desolate place waiting for the light to turn green. I was ready to hurry home to the safety of my own family, in my "better" neighborhood, the one I had dreamed about when I myself was a growing teen, living in poverty in the inner city. I wasn't afraid then, I lived there. But now, I was removed, a stranger in strange and dangerous territory.
I was lost in my thoughts during what felt like an infinitely long red light, when suddenly I heard my grandmother's incessant nagging, "Make sure you lock your doors." She repeated this to me daily to assuage her own fears about the dangers that lurked throughout the city streets, which I so carelessly and fearlessly roamed to work at the profession that I was convinced would save the world, or at least make it better.
My husband worried too, but I insisted on my liberties and carried out my choices as testimony to my independence from male domination - or something to that effect. He helplessly protested against my work, especially when he often discovered that I had been walking around the same neighborhoods where, as a Federal Officer, he would never go to without a weapon. This night all his objections seemed to swarm into my brain at once along with my grandmother's warnings.
When I instinctively turned and locked the door (which was unlocked) on the driver's side of my little two door mustang, a man appeared out of nowhere. He stood there menacing and for a second our eyes met. I knew he was about to harm me. Fiercely, he pulled on the door and when he couldn't open it he ran to the passenger side. Somehow I managed a prayer as I sat frozen in fear. "Please, let it be locked." It was. Miraculously, another car pulled up next to mine and the threatening man took off running into the darkness. Before taking off once the light turned green, the driver gave me a look which said, "Glad I showed up at just the right time." He smiled. As soon as I regained my composure I took off too. I had been spared.
I don't know much about angels. In elementary school the nuns did talk about guardian angels and other warrior angels, who combat evil and rescue us from peril. In the movies there are all kinds of depictions of angels ranging from a robust, cherub looking Clarence in "It's a Wonderful Life", to a less than desirable feathery, naughty character such as "Michael" played by John Travolta. But I haven't delved into the angel mysteries and myths to which many people are devoted nowadays. I imagine, angels are a type of protective, perhaps indescribable energy and that's as far as I can speculate.
However, when serendipitous events like the one I described above occur, I thank my guardian angel. When I am awakened into consciousness by the near miss of a car collision, I thank my guardian angel. Whenever I escape any danger, I thank my guardian angel. So whatever you are, wherever you are, whatever you look like, guardian angel, I am grateful for your constant and vigilant work. Thank you, for being my invisible treasure.
"The guardian angels of life fly so high as to be beyond our sight, but they are always looking down upon us."
Jean Paul Richter