A few days ago, a wonderful little girl named Ella came to the door and said she was helping to raise money for her middle school band, and that I could aid her in this effort by purchasing a poinsettia for fifteen dollars. It happened that I had that much cash on hand, and so I happily gave it to her and put my name and address on her growing list for later delivery. She was thoroughly pleased, and as down to earth as they come, unencumbered by domestic fear and makeup, bright, intelligent, and truly a spirit of light in this world. And it wasn’t until she’d rejoined her mother on the sidewalk and moved along to the next house that I realized I should have asked her what instrument she played. But her visit was brief, and I was just as interested to notice how easily she had avoided becoming tangled in the jungle of plants I had crowding the front step — plants which have since been moved to save them from the frost. A lacy asparagus fern in particular, with its long feelers of new growth seeking anything and everything to cling to, including my hair and my beard — somehow she got past this without ruffling it at all. And the potted ivies, or whatever they are, ranging wide in their pots, sprawling well beyond bounds and in bloom — she stepped through them with the ease of a bird. Best of all, she wasn’t surprised that they were there. A spirit, as I have said. And the wind chime moved.
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