Outside The Box

What’s a smile?

Jun 15, 2015

What’s a smile?

It is true a smile can light up a room. Even though it was blowing a gale with intermittent savage showers we braved it to the local farmers market. If it could do little else but blow away a few cobwebs of the winter blues it would be worth it.

The buffeting winds and invasive rain had kept a lot of folks away but there were enough there to create some market bustle. But the stands were still heaving with produce even though the hour was getting late. There would be lots of fragrant bread and fresh vegetables left to pack away at the end.

We ordered a coffee and sat in a sheltered corner of the big, old drafty barn of a building that housed the market on Sunday mornings. The perfect place to, as they say, watch the world go by. People were getting on with the business of looking, buying and eating. There was a talented guy playing a guitar alternatively with a clarinet beside a hopefully opened guitar case to receive small change. It was pitifully empty. No one danced. Not the right place, not the done thing.

I felt almost anonymous sitting there able to observe without anyone taking a blind bit of notice of me. The young woman, with a very young baby in a hand knitted hat that skirted its eyebrows held against her shoulder, was just part of the sparse crowd. Until she turned around. Her smile was dazzling. A smile that had started deep within and burst forth playfully on her mouth. Not the beatific smile of the enlightened that always makes me wonder, quite cynically I must add, what substance are then on. This was a smile that was so real it was infectious. She was happy and it showed.

I don’t know the smiling woman, I most likely never will, but her face is burned into my mind – and I must admit my heart. It makes me happy to think of her. This to me is a new meaning of lighting up other people’s lives. No words, views, or debates. No interaction, hugs, kisses or caresses. No knowing, sharing, or caring. Two apparent strangers, plus a half if you count the baby, whose lives touched – and it changed something forever. It was a little bit of magic injected into an ordinary day. A glimpse into the true nature of humanity – ourselves. A connection that enforces the fact we are connected – one. A window into the divine.

With love,