• Mathew, guardian angel for Francisco Martinez, looked down from heaven as Francisco labored over the Friday Sudoko. Mathew was rooting for Francisco to succeed with his puzzle. Whenever Francisco didn’t match up all those numbers on the grid, he would become a bit grumpy and pessimistic – a definite damper in the day of a guardian angel. On the other hand, if Francisco won, Mathew could look forward to a fairly pleasant morning. Sometimes, after solving some puzzle or simply doing some simple household task, Francisco’s good cheer might last up to two hours, sometimes all morning! It was a 50-50 proposition for the guardian angel – whose daily spiritual gratifications, as you can see, on these guardian angel assignments tended toward the meager side.
  • Suddenly, Francisco flipped his mechanical pencil into the air.

“Son of a bitch,” he muttered.

 Francisco then sat pensive for a while.

Mathew peeked down to see that there were two sixes in the same column. So that was it! Francisco remained still for a long time. Who knew what he was thinking? Then Francisco found a sheet of paper and began to write. He wrote about forests he had seen: green forests so rich that the trees blocked out the sky. He recalled the walks he had taken up mountain slopes. The streams, the darkness of the shadow, the clarity and the pleasure of the air. What magnificent forests he had seen! Each different. Francisco was from the Bronx, but somehow – and very luckily for him – he had developed a love, almost a thirst for Nature’s beauty.

“Good,” thought Mathew. “Now maybe he’ll take us to the mountains again. We can both use a vacation.”