It's pitch dark when I start out for my commute these days. The warm temperatures in my area have headed south. When the wind blows, it finds those crevices between my scarf and the neckline of my shirt. These are not circumstances under which you want to miss the bus. Yet, missing the bus at one of my transfer points is exactly what I've been doing for the past month. On purpose.
While I have family members scattered to locations around the globe, I also have a cluster close to home. In a chat with my brother, we determined that our morning routines have us going through the same transfer point at just about the same time, headed in the same direction. He offered to give me a ride in his car.
It seemed silly to take him up on his offer. After all, his route is essentially the same one taken by my bus.
In the end, I accepted the ride. Now, I take my first two buses, pass the bay where the third one would stop, and continue on to the car drop-off and pick-up area. There, I wait, think about how cold I'm getting, often see "my" bus sail on without me, and... am grateful.
I'm grateful for those ten or fifteen minutes we are in the (warm!) car together. We catch up on what's on our minds, complain about the traffic, exchange tips on best travel routes, ask favors of each other, and muse about the weather. My brother knows better than to bring up sports -- I'm oblivious! He asks me for advice on things, just as I ask him on other topics. When we baked bread men for St. Nicholas Day this week, I brought him a sample. The next day, he had a similar sample for me to try.
On Wednesday, Erin challenged us to contribute to the creation of strong communities by meeting our neighbors. This December, I am (re)aware of the gifts of time, of conversation, of sitting in morning traffic with my no-longer-little brother, and... of missing the bus!