I was running this afternoon. Not from the law, like usual, but just running in general. It is one of the carry overs from my New Year’s Resolutions that I made mid-February since I was so damn busy for the first few weeks of 2011.
As I was running, I passed dozens of people. Most of them ignored me (if you can imagine) some glanced at me, then looked away quickly. Seems that all this prettiness sometimes makes people not want to look me in the eye. I had a few kind looks and a man or 2 rubbernecked me as I darted past them, hoping, I presume, for a little bit of post-work out cardio. I passed an eager dog that was all tongue-wagging and tail fluttering.
And then I came up to this lady at a traffic light. We were both standing next to one another for a few seconds waiting for the light to change. There was this moment that we looked at one another. And then she did something that almost startled me since I am in the north of the US right now, and not back home where being neighborly is just par for the course. She looked at me and say “Hello there.”
Well, how can I not smile at that. A warm rush of home came over me. The crisp temperature of the late-afternoon seemed to shoot up to a warm 78 degrees and everything was still.
“Well, hello to you, gorgeous.” I said. “How are you today?”
And with a content smile on her face that seemed to be the cause for the sudden lift in temperature as well as mood on that particular street corner, she answered with one single word.
For the next mile, I had the biggest grin on my face as I let my mind apply that word to my own situation. “Blessed.” What a word. Of course it means that someone is looking down on you and making sure that you are not only being taken care of, but moreover, that you are aware that you are being taken care of. You fell it. You see it in everything and experience it in every moment. The standard has been raised. The run-of-the-mill has transformed into the exciting. The “damn, that’s irritating” has become the “wow, that is magical.” And it doesn’t even have to be something divine that inspires it.
I think that is what stood out to me so much today. She was “blessed.” Maybe it wasn’t by someone upstairs. Maybe it wasn’t related to a Sunday morning prayer session or a piece of good fortune in her life that had given her bragging rights for a week. Maybe it was just because someone on the street that she never met before asked her how she was doing and shared a smile with her. Maybe, just maybe, if every so often, I paused at more street corners and asked “how are you?”, I could find more people who are blessed just because I took a second to reach out and say “I hope you are ok,” and share a smile for no other reason than it beats the alternative of looking uncomfortably away from someone that I know is standing right beside me.
I think that is a great resolution to add to my pile this year. “Hello gorgeous, how are you today?”