Weather anyplace is unpredictable. Having lived in several states I think at some point, because of the hot, cold, wet, ice, whatever somebody’s inevitably said “Don’t like the weather here? Wait a minute…”
That’s true anywhere. So crystal clear fall and wintry days are a gift! Terrier-mix rescue dog Lulu is bouncing back, slowly, and relishing her walks again. Not long ones, but she lets me know how much. So this afternoon while she and husky-mix rescue dog Lily were napping I took myself out for a long walk. Icy air and a breeze with an edge but the sun soaked into my sweater. The park where my dogs and I walk has a path around it little over a mile. So I walked to this park and through part of it on the path to the other side to finish my walk home.
Most people I met on the way were walking their dogs, or jogging, or ambling slowly with a friend. But each person, as they looked up their entire faces opened like sun shining through clouds when they smiled.
Maybe just an acknowledging smile, or a smile and a nod. But whatever occupied their thoughts for that moment evaporated like a morning fog and a smile shone through.
I guess it’s just a wonder to me that total strangers can have a momentary connection, a warmth shared. Some faces lifted already smiling. Others mildly surprised to see someone there, others with determined concern. But every one relaxed into the kindness of a smile.
To me it is a wonder those connections happen no matter where I’ve lived. It’s a wonder that everywhere I look I hear and see bombardments telling me and everybody else life has to be exciting, a constant party. I once fell for all that. Over-involved and it was never enough. And the more there was the less fulfilling.
I think it’s the same wit h overcommitment to anything. Work, volunteering, neighborhoods. It is flattering to some to be asked to do things but there is a limit. It can’t be all or nothing. And people will take advantage without realizing or even if they do, thinking they are doing you a favor. It is not hard to say no, and it is essential sometimes. And sometimes you realize you should have said no after you agree to do something.
For me life changes too quickly to become overcommitted. What a burden! No wonder. Pedestrian. Pedantic, as my dad would say.
So I am going to see what it is like wandering around dragging some encumbrances, I’ll call them. No idea whether I can contribute or not. Not flattered, either. I’m going to smile about it though.
When just one smile, I can see a wonder.