The Fish Market

Another cold wintery morning! One of those mornings that you just wish you could stay in bed and sip hot chocolate, not wanting to even get out of bed in the bitter cold. But it was a Tuesday and it was a school day, it was another work day. Work, of which I very much enjoyed, especially since I was working from home at the time. I could even have stayed in my pyjamas and robe for all I cared. No one was coming over, I wasn’t visiting anyone, no neighbors around. But wait; first things first! One small detail here. I did have to get the kids to school.

So after all, I did have to get up, I did have to get dressed, and I very much did have to go out in the cold. Tuesday morning meant it was still the beginning of the week, still a whole 4 days before the weekend lay before us, where we could relax and do those things as a family that we loved to do. I don’t know exactly what it is about the weekend that I just look forward to so much, but there is something about not having a tight schedule to keep, much less an alarm clock to get you up in the morning.

And so, this Tuesday morning, another morning rush to get the kids to school on time. The boots, the coats, the hats and scarves, the backpacks and all those things we love about winter that make everything seem to take so much longer. But we can’t complain now, can we? And so, off we step out of our door. Lo and behold, Tuesday morning at our town is market day! And lo and behold, Tuesday morning in front of our house is market place! So right smack at our front door, of our apartment house, that of which has a bakery at the bottom, are small market stalls, selling meat, clothes, vegetables and plants. The closest stall to our front door, just a few feet away is a fish stall. In the middle of winter, they continue to need that extra ice around to keep them fresh.

As we step out the door, my little girl holds my hands ever so tightly to keep them just a little warmer and blurts out in her cheerful tone: “I know why it’s so cold today, Mama!” “Oh, yes?” I wondered. “It’s because the fish stand is here right in front of our house and so it makes it even colder for us.” I couldn’t help but smile, and then chuckle and then even laugh. “That’s such an interesting observation!” I answered. And we both shared sweet joyful moments the rest of our walk to school. Not thinking about the cold, not thinking about everything that needed to be done, but just the two of us laughing and having a good time.

God used my little girl’s simple sincere observation to make my day, to show me that a little humor was maybe all that I needed to help me get going. Oh, how I let life pass me by so quickly without taking those little opportunities to bring joy to someone else, even through a little laughter. Aren’t kids good at that? They say what they feel, when they feel it, and little do they know that it more often than not, is exactly what someone else needed to hear.

It was a good time to ask myself, how often to I stop to enjoy those simple moments with my kids? To become as a little child to enter into God’s presence of happiness and joy, of calm and peace with a boost in my stride?

Or do I so often hear, but don’t listen? Do I take life so seriously that I forget to laugh? Do I act so busy that I don’t have time to stop for a few minutes to think about the simple, maybe somewhat unimportant things?

Jesus called a little child to him and put the child among them. Then he said,“I tell you the truth, unless you turn from your sins and become like little children, you will never get into the Kingdom of Heaven. So anyone who becomes as humble as this little child is the greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven.” (Matthew 18:2-4)