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Lions Roar : January 2009
SHAMBHALA SUN JANUARY 2009 42 I read a familiar word, a snack-after- school word, an Americana word: “Oreo.” I was relieved that I’d made a decision. The girl looked relieved, too. “A small,” I added, “on a sugar cone. Please.” She nodded and receded into the cool white-and-steel space behind her. When she returned, the ice cream appeared before me, not just a scoop, certainly not small. It was a pile, a mound, a mountain, a bounty of thick, luscious white, suffused with black flecks, as high as two fat fists, stacked. “Oh, my,” I said, and laughed. The corners of the girl’s mouth turned up just so. I started to fish around in my wallet for bills, but a new thought arose: a picture of my children, my two sandy-haired little boys, waiting at home. They would run to the door when I got there, eyes bright. “Do you have any treats that don’t melt?” I asked. The girl looked at me blankly. “I mean, like, baked goods. For my kids,” I said. From behind the girl, a woman ap- peared, a strong-looking, middle-aged woman—the sort of woman who’s been working hard all her life. She’d been wip- ing counters. “We’ve got brownies,” she said. “No walnuts.” “Perfect,” I said. “Two, please.” “Charge a dollar each,” the woman said to the girl, then returned to cleaning. But first she smiled at me, and I knew she was a mother, too. The girl fetched two brownies, each in a plastic baggie. She placed them in my hand, the gifts I would bear. They were warm in my palm. I gave her money, she handed me my ice cream, and I strolled back to the car with the cold cone, the warm brownies, my hands full. My heart, too. I slid into my seat. Frank was ending his New York song. I drove out of the parking lot, ice cream in my right hand, steering wheel in my left, brown- ies on the seat. I thought of my children waiting for me. I considered the riot of ice cream on the cone in my hand. I took a long, mindful lick, felt the astonishing cold on the roof of my mouth, the sweet on my tongue, and I laughed out loud. Tall pines marked my way down the road. ♦ Up to 35% off the regular price of the stunningly beautiful giclée prints of dharma art from the pages of our magazines. All prints are archival quality. You’ll find artwork by renowned artists such as Thich Nhat Hanh, Hassan Massoudy, Jakusho Kwong-roshi, Don Farber, and Chögyam Trungpa. ff tthheee of tthheee utiffuull nts ooff froom m m m es ooff ineess.. hivvaaall finnddd wneeddd ch aasss Hannhh,, ouddyyy,, oshhi,, , annddd ngppaaa.. FROM THE PAGES OF THE SHAMBHALA SUN HOLIDAY SALE – UP TO 35% SAVINGS Give the gift of art that expresses the dharma. Available now at significant savings at: www.shambhalasun.com VISIT THE SHAMBHALA SUN ONLINE GALLERY www.shambhalasun.com An independent, nonprofit corporation. Publishers of the Shambhala Sun and Buddhadharma: The Practitioner’s Quarterly. with the Art You Love Celebrate!