The next time you’re in a public place — a coffeehouse, a park, a store — observe the people around you. Pick a person, a couple, or a group, and imagine what their lives might be like.
I don’t have to wait till the next time I’m out and about. I do this all the time. In fact I did this not an hour ago when I went to the grocery store. It’s what happens when you are a writer and you have a vivid imagination.
I saw her as I was on the way home actually.
It’s a beautiful day here in Canada where I live. The day is warm with a bright blue sky and wispy white clouds. I was driving home from the grocery store. Taking my time with the window rolled down and enjoying the beautiful day.
I saw her from quite a way as she was dressed in bright colors. Like a walking, living bouquet of vivid wild flowers she walked gracefully down the country road. She wore a primrose pink jacket with her legs encased in sunshine yellow pants. On her feet she wore white sneakers. On her arm was a bright red purse that swung with each jaunty step.
As I got closer I could see she was old, her face full of well-worn wrinkles in a light brown face. Her dark brown eyes sparkled with happiness as she tucked her white hair into her bright blue head scarf. She gave me a joyous toothless smile as I slowly went by. It was the kind of smile that made your heart sing and your lips turn up in a grin. That smile seemed to say, “Hello! I am so glad we are both alive and able to enjoy this perfect day!”
She may have been going to the same grocery store I had just left. Or maybe she was on her way to visit a close friend, where they would sit and drink coffee and reminisce over old times. Or she was on her way to visit a daughter or son who would hug her and tell her how welcomed she was.
Wherever she ended up I knew she would bring happiness to all she came in contact to. She had that aura about her. A wise woman full of love and kindness. A woman who had a tender touch or a soft kiss with aged lips. A woman who had seen much in life and like her Native Indian ancestors was at peace with her surroundings.
Her smile was such a beautiful present today. It made me feel lighthearted. It made me feel that I was where I should be at this time in my life.
I passed her in my car, a fleeting moment in time. But her image, her smile, her colorful self, will stay with me for much, much longer. With those precious seconds as I slowly passed her and she had a smile only for me I felt the gentle hand of love surround my heart.
With that gift I will go about my day with a lighter step, a joy in living that I had not woken up to this morning. I silently thank her for giving that to me and I hope light and love will be with her always.
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