Friday, March 15, 2013

My Father's Gloves


I am walking through the Spring snows of Salzburg dressed in love. On my hands, my father’s winter gloves he left behind six years ago. On my head, my wife’s woolen hat I snuck from the hall armoire while packing for this trip (shh! don’t tell!). My winter coat was a spontaneous gift from my son-in-law when he bought himself a new one, the Argentinian sweater underneath a gift from my daughter. The shirt is a Christmas gift from my other daughter, the T-shirt I bought last summer up in Northern Michigan. The scarf is a present from Orff folks in China, the pants courtesy of the kind Gap employee who was closing up shop and unlocked the door for me and found the perfect pants in five minutes (this the night before my trip!). My boots I bought for Salzburg 10 years ago, re-cobbled a few times by our local shoemaker. I won’t mention the unmentionables.

And so I am a walking Facebook, the status of my friends updated on my body as I walk. We often tell those we love that we will think of them always, but mostly we don’t. Except sometimes. Like now, as I inventory each article of clothing and remember each person while walking through the fairyland of Salzburg made yet more magical by the floating flakes. I am warmed twice over, once by the familiar fabric and once by the fond remembrance of friends and family. I would wish each of them walking by my side (well, maybe not the shoemaker and Gap employee) and others too who didn’t clothe me today.

But no need to be greedy. It’s enough that I thought of them, that they helped warm both my heart and my body and that I have the good fortune to walk in wonder, clothed in remembrance.

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