The hot piece of baguette in my worn out duffel bag warmed my back.

Its tantalizing aroma warmed my mind with the prospect of a full belly.

The kind words, warm demeanor, of the sales lady at the bakery, and the way she served me with goodwill, warmed my soul.

I only had 45 cents.

I had been too ashamed to enter the bakery to buy bread because I knew I did not have enough money.

I had walked for quite a while, scanning the ground, looking for a coin to add to the little money I had.

It was getting late, and I was anxious to get something to eat.

I gathered courage and entered the bakery.

“How much is a baguette,” I asked the baker, terrified I would make a fool of myself.

“85 cents” she replied.

“Is it possible to buy half?” I ventured.

“Definitely yes, would you like a piece?” she asked me.

“Yes please” I responded with joy.

“Happy new year” I shyly added as I gave her 45 cents for the bread.

She looked at me and with a big warm smile and wished me a happy new year.

I left with a spring in my steps.

It is a happy new year because tonight I have a warm piece of bread and I was welcomed and served with respect.

I am full, despite the rumbling in my belly.