It made me smile


By Rita Friesen

It was a mundane errand that had me turning north off the highway. Garbage needed to be dropped off at the depot. It took a moment to make eye contact with the flag person for the construction crew, and recognition flashed for both of us. Her huge smile and wide wave were welcome but the great grimace and double arm wave when I returned just minutes later, well, it made me smile. A deep warm smile that relaxed my shoulders and brightened my day.

The aisles of the grocery store were filled with after work shoppers. You know the kind, tired from a day’s work, wondering what to make for supper and how will we manage the evening schedules. Above the bustle, a young mother, babe in cart, slowly moved through us all. Her attention shifted form the merchandise displayed to her little one. At one point, spontaneously, she gently caressed the soft cheek. It made me smile. A deep warm smile that reflected my assurance in the goodness of life.

The work crews set up a speed zone marker within sight of our south window. The dogs were offended at individuals lingering so close to their turf and fruitlessly sounded an alarm. Throughout the day, they refreshed their voiced opposition to the intrusion. As we stepped out for our last walk of the day, the lights of the passing cars flashed against the sign. They pulled at the leashes, determined to roust the threat. Two little white mites determined to protect and defend hearth and home. It made me smile. A deep warm smile that acknowledged the comfort, warmth and love that pets provide.

In the mail I received a friendly, encouraging note from a fellow traveller. The words spoke compassion and encouragement, the spirit rang true. Later in the evening, a call from a distant family member elicited the same emotions. Reflecting on the many notes and calls that have blessed my journey, well, it made me smile. A deep warm smile from a wounded spirit accepting refreshment and love from a wider community, accepting healing. 

A phrase of poetry from “In Praise of Water” – “Let us bless the humility of water, always willing to take the shape of whatever otherness holds it.” New thought. It made me smile. A deep warm smile at the wonder of ever learning. 

Late blooming flowers grace my garden. The yellow mums in the corner are outdoing themselves this autumn. The warmth of their colour diminishes the lowering skies and chilling winds. The flowering begonia has found a winter home, it hangs in front of the living room bay window. The cheery blossoms warm the room, offering life and breath. They make me smile. A deep warm smile marvelling at the wonder of the Creator and creation, the very mystery of life.