The shuttle driver, an Ethiopian with an MBA, drove me from the Denver airport to Hyatt House. He chatted away, welcoming, orienting me to the area, while practicing English.
Unlike some drivers, he had no stash of $5 bills in the cupholder, suggesting all passengers give at least a tip of that amount. He seemed content to do his job well.
Since I was the only passenger and traffic sluggish, I asked questions and he told his story. His manners and answers spoke of an educated man. I learned he came to this country with an MBA. “Not so good with English, but it’s O.K. I know how to work. America’s a good place. We call it Hope Land.”
The was Sunday, the 15th anniversary of 9/11.
Those of us born in the USA, know we’re not free from pain, suffering, injustice. However, having met other refugees and recently read Solzhenitsyn’s A Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich, for our book club, I’m aware of the horrors many of us have been spared.
After trudging from dawn to dark thru a day that felt like it’d never end, I marvel at some closing thoughts from Ivan Denisovich Shukhov:
“Shukhov went to sleep fully content. He’d had many strokes of luck that day; they hadn’t put him in the cells; … he’d built a wall and enjoyed doing it…and he hand’t fallen ill. He’d got over it. A day without a dark cloud. Almost a happy day.”
There’s so much for which to be grateful, even, and maybe especially on “almost a happy day” in Hope Land.
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