The young woman slides through the door sideways. Her arms are outstretched. Large bags are draped all over her. She appears weary but focused. Almost determined. As the crowd exiting for the stop thins out, you spot the source of that determination. Wrapped closely to her chest is an infant.
The mother looks for a place to land. But there is no seat to be had. There is not even enough space on the yellowed tile floor for her to lay down the burdensome bags. Standing from across the car, you see desperation quickly flash across her face before it hardens into a steely resolve.
She hunches her arms up so that the baby bag and grocery sacks inch their way up the shoulder. The baby begins to stir. The young mother tucks her head down near the child's ear and gently hums. She sways back and forth. The weight of the bags appear so great that you worry each swing of the pendulum will throw her off balance. Yet she stands firm.
Looking at her weighed down but unbowed, you wonder how she could bear such a massive weight as she traversed this city. And you marvel at how she does not unravel when her obvious needs only meet a cold silence from the strangers in that car. For a moment, you are bewildered. What is the source of such strength?
The tiny head of the infant lifts up and her eyes meet her mother's. The young woman beams. It is love that allows her to carry such a great burden. It is love that helps her press on through the weariness. It is love for that child that allows her to hold it together even if inside she is falling apart.
In that fragile moment, you see the spark of something beautiful beyond words. And for the first time in many stations you do not notice out the window there is the blur and the darkness.