Today, like many other days, after getting ready for school, I walk down the wool-carpeted flight of stairs from the upstairs to the main floor. Feeling a little creeky and not fully awake so early in the morning, my hand loosely holds onto the rail for an added bit of reassurance. A muffled footfall echoes in the foyer as my slippered foot steps onto the hardwood floor. (I’m fully dressed for breakfast except for my feet which luxuriate a few more minutes in my comfy slippers. Just for a few more minutes before the on-my-feet-all-day shoes are put on.) So begins my day.
Later, when a scheduled meeting ends a full 45 minutes early, hee-hee, I head happily for home. As my red Sonata approaches the familiar two-story, gray house, the signs of various School Board candidates remind me that I need to vote before I leave on break. So, on a spur-of-the-moment whim, my foot pushes down gently on the accelerator instead of the brake, and I drive right on down the street toward City Hall where I know I’ll be in time to vote by absentee ballot.
I enter the glass doors of the stately, three story stone building. Its marble staircases and brass handrails beckon me onward to the second story. After providing the usual information, I enter the voting booth, carefully filling in the bubbles before the names of the candidates I support. Placing the ballot in the provided envelope, my tongue wets the glue, and I seal and return it to the receptionist. She stamps it with today’s date. I smile to myself. I know it’s silly, but a voting pride swells my chest as I think how I’ve done my duty as a citizen yet again. I think of the men and women who have fought over the years to give me the privilege. A warm feeling spreads inside me like maple syrup over pancakes on a winter morning.
I turn and trip lightly down the stairs. I think how wonderful it is, if just for today, that I can almost dance down the steps. Not needing to grab the handrail, I feel like a teenager zipping down these marble treads. Tippity, tippity, tap. Even the sounds sing out to me, calling me back to a time when injured knees painfully cried out with every step, up or down. Then, the rail was my friend who supported me, helped me. I clung to her, then. Those were the times when I never thought I would be able to do this simple task again, pain free. Tippity, tippity, tap. But now I can! And everytime I do, I thank God for this time, just this one time. Maybe tomorrow, the gift will be gone. Who knows? But for this day, this today, I am thankful, and I skip merrily down the rest of the stairs, easily and carefree and joyful.