This I Believe

Donna Riddlebarger - Dayton, Ohio
Entered on December 23, 2007

The Little Snowball Girl

Dec. 23, ……..5 a.m.

It’s almost Christmas and I’m really tired. Not just from this years hassle and hustle, but of all the ghosts of Christmas past, …so many years of pitching broken toys, raggedy gift wrap, turkey bones and needle less trees. I keep vowing to stop, but I always feel as if I’m held prisoner in someone else’s dream.

So, like that old song suggested, when I’m tired and I can’t sleep, I look for blessings that I can keep. Generally, I write down my blessings so I give them their own eternal life. This little sighting gave me a new reminder of the simplicity and fragility of the joy of any season.

Not long ago, I was taking a downtown lunchtime stroll. I was looking at the snow on the sidewalk, muttering complaints to myself about the approaching holiday, wishing it and all its work were over. Fortunately for the Scrooge that always lurks within, I can multitrack and I realized a little girl and her daddy were walking nearby.

She was about three and was holding his hand as they walked along. Suddenly she pulled away and started gathering sidewalk snow. Dad just waited and watched. She was trying to make a snowball.

After letting her try for a moment or so, Dad volunteered to help, primarily, I suspect, to let them get moving. He smiled and lovingly made her a nice round ball, 3-4 inches in diameter and handed it to her. You would have thought it was the Hope diamond. She cupped it in her hands and held it up at arms length to admire it properly. Then she dropped her arms and proceeded down the sidewalk, arms outstretched in front, as if the snowball was resting on a royal velvet pillow instead of dirty mittens. She started smiling, walking, and seemed to be deciding if she wanted to throw it or eat it. I giggled silently as she even sniffed it like a fine entree. They turned a corner and I wanted to cry like I’m doing right now.

Every now and then I get a whack on the head that brings me to my senses. I get reminded of how pure, brief, simple and beautiful life is if I adjust my focus to the here and now. I get reminded that everything in life is temporary, and therefore here for our appreciation and full attention as it won’t last long. This year, as I’m pitching raggedy wrapping paper, I will think of the Little Snowball Girl. She already knows, the best things in life are temporary, have no strings and are free and unwrapped. And some gifts will melt in the warmth of your heart.