In my 30’s I lived near a village park with a lake. I would walk on the path twice around the lake several times a week. I walked at about the same time in the morning before work. I observed the seasons change in the plants and the creek that fed the lake. I loved the days when I saw a white heron standing at the water’s edge. It helped calm my mind and exercised my body for a job that was mainly sitting.
I enjoyed smiling at the people walking past me in the opposite direction. It was amazing and fun! Many people smiled back easily and occasionally we actually started conversations. Some people would keep their faces down or glance away. I could feel compassion rising in my heart. I remember one woman in particular. I can still see her face in my mind’s eye. She was about 60 and her face looked very sad. She walked slowly yet consistently, mostly looking downwards. I felt I did not want to intrude on her grief, so I silently smiled at her. This went on for months. One day she lifted her head as I was approaching. I gave an extra radiant smile. Her face transformed before my eyes as she smiled back. Her smile lit up her whole face. I was so astonished, she looked like a different woman at least 10 years younger! I felt so blessed like as if I had seen a rainbow! After a few days I added a “good morning” to my smile when I saw her. Although she never replied with words, she did continue to smile back. I moved away before I learned her name or her story. The memory of her smile still brings joy to my heart. In our Essence beyond our daily stories a connection that transcends time and space had been made!