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Ten Things

The Guideposts senior editor shares ten random sights in New York City.

Ten things I noticed on my way to work this morning:

1. The sky heavy with approaching rain, gray and moist, tasting of the sea.

2. A solitary yellow leaf drifting to the sidewalk on Broadway near my subway station at 96th Street. The leaf fluttered and swooped like a swallow.

3. Passengers swaying like sea grass on my packed subway car.

4. Streaks of orange—local train tracks outside the window of my express train reflecting the subway tunnel’s sulfurous light. I thought of car headlights in an overexposed photo, shooting stars.

5. Four African American men playing bluegrass on a fiddle, bass, banjo and washboard in the middle of a Times Square subway station. They’re the Ebony Hillbillies, aged 61 to 85. One’s a cowboy who teaches horsemanship part time in Arizona. One played in a classical string quartet. One toured with Harry Belafonte and has two Grammy awards at home. One uses a cane and wears dreadlocks. This is why I love New York.

6. Taxis crisscrossing on Park Avenue, arriving, departing from Grand Central Station. Like twin halves of a ceaseless pair of yellow scissors.

7. The stone lions, Patience and Fortitude, peering down 41st Street from the steps of the New York Public Library as I hurry along Madison Avenue. I think of them dusted with snow, wet with rain, uncomplaining, silent and still through the harried New York night.

8. Five trees, I think they’re birches, with half their leaves left outside the Morgan Library on Madison. A few of the leaves are green, most are yellow. The trees are like down-on-their-luck debutantes, tall, slender and elegant, raggedly dressed.

9. The gold dome of the old Metropolitan Life building on Madison Square somehow glowing with cloudy light. The dome is half obscured by a bulky brown skyscraper. It peeks.

10. A Christmas tree newly erected in the downstairs lobby of the GUIDEPOSTS building on 34th Street. Advent is almost here, my favorite season in the Christian calendar. We wait in darkness, under clouds, underground, and then all at once comes the light all golden and shining.

So many things to be thankful for. What are you thankful for today? It’s like the Psalm says: “This is the day the Lord has made. Let us rejoice and be glad in it.”

Jim Hinch is a senior editor at GUIDEPOSTS. Reach him at jhinch@guideposts.org.

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