For more years than I can remember, Yolanda Archuleta has delivered my daily Santa Fe New Mexican newspaper, driving long before daylight through snowstorms and hailstorms and almost impassable streets. I’ve never met Yolanda; the paper arrives with a thud outside my door around 3am and if I’m awake at that witching hour, I hear the thud and find it comforting. It’s also comforting to walk out through new glittering snow to pick up the paper in its blue plastic sleeve and carry it in to read with my breakfast.
Every year at about this time, Yolanda leaves a typed note with the paper. Yesterday it read, “It has been a pleasure serving you. I always strive to meet your expectations and meet your requirements and if there is anything else I can do, please do inform me.” This, to people she has probably never met and never will meet!
This year, she included a prayer: “when I wash my hands, I say this 20-second prayer.”
As I take up my hands
to wash them and
reassure my heart,
I pray for healing and wholeness
for the whole world.
I remember that every life
is unique and of infinite value:
from those living
in the most remote part of the globe
to those in our cities
to our neighbors and family members.
Let me use my hands for good
to help bring love
and compassion to others.
“Let us lift up
our hearts and hands
to the Eternal.” (Lamentations 3:41)Every year at about this time, Yolanda leaves a typed note with the newspaper.
Yolanda reminds me of the need to feel and express gratitude for her service, and also for the graceful curves her car’s tires make in the driveway outside my front door—
as well as for the hour-glass shaped track in the snow left by a tiny mouse, running to escape freezing, that did not escape and lay dead and frozen at the bottom of her last curve;
and for the other tiny mice that gather up the seeds dropped under my bird feeder, and the almost equally tiny birds who search for seeds there—and whether the mice and the birds see each other is a mystery;
and for the gleaming puff of smoke I see from a neighbor’s chimney on the other side of the nearest hill at breakfast time these cold mornings;
and for all of you, my faithful readers whom I don’t see and usually don’t know, who stay by me in spirit in these extraordinary times by reading what I write.