Friday, July 2, 2010
Long walks are a hobby of mine; for me, it’s time spent in thought and relaxation while burning a few calories. Fortunately, there is a beautiful trail nearby. Something is always blooming there, enhancing the peacefulness of any stroll. The only downside is that the path is alongside a fairly busy street; however the noise of cars speeding by can be deafened by cranking up the iPod.
About 40 minutes into my walk, two women approached me from the opposite direction. One was strolling in front of the other one, who was in a wheelchair. The seated woman was in her mid 80’s or older, judging by her sunken, fragile appearance. Her head was slightly tilted to one side and she was warmly dressed despite it being in the mid 70’s. I had passed the pair earlier near the south end of the trail; at that time, the gal on foot was pushing the wheelchair. At our second meeting, the seated woman was controlling her motorized chair on her own.
As she and I moved closer towards each other, the seated woman's right arm came up straight in front of her. In her hand was a long, delicate orange-red flower. Tubular. A bell-like beauty that hummingbirds enjoy drinking from. I felt drawn to her and with the song “Let’s Live for Today” buzzing in my ear, questionably approached her and said “For me?”
She quietly said yes. I immediately let out an “oh my goodness” that resounded above and beyond the sha la la’s of the music, and accepted her gift. It was a short, unexpected, sweet, moment. Oh, but what a moment! She couldn't see my eyes watering up since I had sunglasses on. Perhaps I should have taken my sunglasses off. Then this wonderful stranger would have received the full impact of her kindness rippling through me and touching my heart.
Total duration? Less than ten seconds.
Talk about setting your mood high for the day! As I walked on, I thought about how simple it is to reach out and just be nice. I pondered about how seldom that happens. I made a silent vow to myself to encourage people to smile even more. And that goes to friends and strangers alike. Yes indeed, I can make those hellos a bit hardier instead of mumbling sometimes. My grin can be broader, my step a little springier. And next time you see me, don’t be surprised if I hand to you a flower.