She was enjoying the early scent of dew kissed grass, and I was enjoying the quiet of the world waking up. Approaching us was a long-lived, distinguished gentleman out for some morning exercise. When he got close enough to fully take in the cuteness of my quirky, fluffy Millerific, he said to her,
"Well, what a nice surprise!"
I imagined that he took this route every morning and had never come across the pair of us jauntily heading toward the park. My heart grew warm and a smile overflowed with the idea of something so simple bringing so much joy to this kind man. We exchanged happy wishes and continued on, feeling a little more connected, more solid in our place in the world.
I love this about my neighborhood. It reminds me of people from my grandparents' generation, back in the 1930s and '40s. Nearly everyone I pass while out and about says hello or waves. And why not? We're sharing a common space and a common purpose as we go about our day, walking down the street. Even research has shown that smiling affects our mood and general health, relieves anxiety, and helps us connect with others.
So take a chance...smile at a stranger, share a 'good morning'...it's likely you'll leave them feeling happier. And happiness is contagious.