Santa too

He said, “You don’t believe in Santa do you?” as I offered him a cookie. I had made cookies that day to go and give to the homeless. The man before me looked like Santa Claus…but he didn’t want a cookie. How strange?

I said, “I believe in the idea of Santa. I believe that we all have the capability to be Santa at any moment. I believe we all have the ability to help others wishes come true and try to make every day of a child’ life feel like Christmas.”

“So then you understand,” he replied. “How old are you?” he probed.

“Like you Santa, I am ageless and timeless,” I replied. At this he chuckled and struck his knee. 

“Well I’ll be. You know, I don’t think that I have ever met anyone like you,” he mused. “You are a great artist, I just can’t believe you want to draw me?” 

“All the greats have drawn or painted Santa Sir. Leyendecker and Haddon Sunbloom, all the famous illustrators invented the modern notion of who santa is. The Coca Cola Santa was the product not of our collective concept, but of an illustrators deep understanding of who we love, what we love, and what we want to love.” I continued, “Getting to paint you is like getting to be a part of that great club. I get to show the world who I believe Santa to be.”

Earlier, I had been riding through a park when I saw him sitting on a bench socializing with some Canadian Geese, both it seemed were taking a rest on the banks of the pond. Santa’s white flowing beard and French curved curls flowed about his face and created a mandorla that only enhanced his deity. 

As I made my way near him, I noticed his beard, and I desperately wanted to paint it and I asked him if I could. I had no idea who it was I was talking to at the time. He honored my request, and we spent the next hour deep in conversation as I tried to notate  and record his rosy cheeks and deep blue eyes. His eyes seemed to look through me. He specifically asked me to put them in. He said his granddaughter has the same blue eyes. Santa’s eyes it seems have seen a lot.

He didn’t want to take the painting once it was finished. He felt it was too precious, but I said, “Santa, of all people you understand. I get as much of a gift by giving this to you as you do by receiving it from me.” At this we hugged a couple of times, and said goodbye. 

It occurred to me…everyone around us is Santa…if we choose to see and treat them that way.