Sunlight in Human Form

The air is bitter and sharp. 

I walk up the steps, hands deep in my pockets, shoulders tight and high. Cold always makes me clench. 

At the top of the steps, just inside the door, my friend greets me. Come in, come in! And with one open-armed sweep, she takes me out of winter and into the warmth of her apartment. 

I bend over to untie my wet shoes. And my friend says what she always says when you come into her home: I've got slippers for you. 

She is gone for a moment and reappears with a big brown basket. It's filled with soft, gentle slippers that could make any foot feel loved. I've got them in all sizes, she says. 

She picks out two poofs of gray fluff for me. And I'm quite sure that she is sunlight in human form. What else but sunlight could thaw our clenches and make us feel the warmth of belonging? 

I thank her twice over. My body sinks back into itself. She makes me tea. We talk about life, day jobs, how day jobs aren't life. 

At one point, she leaves to get more hot water. I settle into the couch, my tight and clench long gone. Her simple, caring gesture has returned me to myself.

And I am reminded that our care for each other is nothing short of sunlight on a winter day. 

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