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It was 7:00pm on a cold winter’s night.  A work night.

I was just getting home from the office, but had one errand to run.

I did not want to get out of the car.

It was cold.  Pull-your-collar-up and pull-your-hat-down cold.

Sidewalks were slick with a mix of melted snow, mud and salt.  People moved fast.  No lingering on this night.  Get in.  Get out.  Get home.

And, there I sat, in my car, reluctantly getting ready to make my move, to get my task done.

That’s when I looked across the street and saw the sign that said, ‘OPEN’.

Now, I don’t know what it was, but I was really struck by that sign and all it meant.  Was it the generosity and hard work of the shop keeps?  That they would keep their store open for those of us who needed it, while so many were already home, or on their way.  Was it the simple invitation of it, the invitation to come in, come in from the cold. Was it the fact that the short days make this time of year feel generally like we’re ‘CLOSED for the season’ and they were saying, ‘not us’.  Whatever it was, the sign ‘OPEN’ opened me up.

And, what was this wonderful place?  It was a fruit and vegetable shop, on a busy city street.  Sitting out front were baskets and boxes of plenty – clementines, oranges, apples and grapefruit ready for the taking.  And, on the inside, what looked like green-goodness –  heaps of ripening bananas and some green hanging plants.  It’s all I could make out, but it was enough.

Just a glimpse of this shop warmed me up.  The warmth of the light, nature’s goodness abounding, and a sign that said, OPEN.