I realize you may be thinking, “Of course, she would say this – she is a little thing”. True enough, though height isn’t all it’s cracked up to be (bada boom).
I had my quarterly blood-letting this morning and got downtown early enough to stop at Starbucks. I already took that as a good sign, for there was no traffic, my favorite guy at the parking garage came out to take my keys and we had the chance to catch up for a moment (his wife just had their second child) and the air – the air this morning was so fresh it was begging to be noticed.
When I got into Starbucks, the woman behind the counter called out to me “Good morning sweetheart, what would make you smile today?” Some people may not respond well to terms of affection from total strangers – I’m not one of them. There was something in the way she said “sweetheart” that just tickled my core. I asked for my venti, non-fat cappuccino, and told her that she had just made my day. This prompted a conversation between her, the barista and I about the counters in the store (too high for me to reach my coffee, which gave us all a good laugh), how much better it was to greet the day instead of kvetching about its arrival (no one used the word ‘kvetching’, I’m paraphrasing here) and how one small exchange can manifest itself in a thousand ways. This woman absolutely glowed kindness; she couldn’t hide it if she tried. I told her and with a clap and a quick step from behind the register, we gave each other the most delicious hug we possibly could.
As I walked out, I held the door for a man trying to finagle himself inside while pulling his briefcase with one hand, texting on his Blackberry and holding The Washington Post with the other. I wished him a “Good Morning” and clearly startled him (whether by the gesture or the words I don’t know), for I caught his paper as it began to fall to the ground.
In the doctor’s office, the receptionist told me all about her vacation, I listened to the phlebotomist tenderly complain about her new puppy who was still trying to figure out why no one wanted to play with him in the middle of the night. You get the drift – it’s been a morning of the most sacred little things. The moments that separate an okay day from a lovely one, the delight in extending one’s self just a tiny bit and receiving so much in return. This isn’t even about paying it forward – it’s just about choosing warmth over isolation, a smile over an unfocused gaze, the underestimated value of spending one extra moment looking at the world around you and trying to shape it into someplace you want to live.
And as I sit here, the sun casting both warmth on my back and shadows on my keyboard, listening to Enesco’s ‘Roumanian Rhapsody No. 1’, I can’t help but feel that it is the little things that remain the most essential. The generosity of a stranger, the pictures proudly shown by a new papa, the throw-your-head-back kind of laughter that erupts when you share joy. Oh yeah, the coffee was extra delicious too. In fact, that’s the way the whole day is turning out to be. I wish that for you as well. Happy Tuesday.