Thursday, October 27, 2011

A Friendly Face

For Wednesday, October 26, 2011

One moment. Just one moment.

As I sat down to write tonight I was not sure what to write about for the day’s blog post. I flashed back to different scenes from my day. Talking to my teenage students, introducing a new novel, laughing with a few of my work colleagues, organizing my “To Do List”, attending a meeting, driving home with my husband, going to a parent-teacher conference for my daughter, watching tv, taking time to write. I could write about any of these, but for some reason, the only image that is motivating me at the moment is her smile.

There have been many similar smiles. They are offered up on the first day of class and continue throughout the year. They are quiet nods of understanding and they appear the most needed moments. Sometimes it is offered from the back corner of the classroom, other days I find it in the hallway. It’s not showy and it is not after anything. It is given freely and with kindness. It belongs to one of the friendly faces.

We have all experienced the friendly faces, I am sure of it. These are the people in our lives, or even sometimes perfect strangers, who are supportive while there in the crowd when we’re talking. As we look out into the audience, whether it is in a meeting or in a large auditorium, the friendly faces meet our eyes and with a simple smile or nod they remind us that we are not alone, that we are being heard, that our efforts are appreciated. I always take note of these smiles, these faces. They always belong to people worth getting to know better.

Her smile greeted me in the classroom first thing this morning and later in the day as we passed one another in the hall. She’s more than a good kid. She is empathetic and kind. She is secure and yet humble. And she knows the secret of how a little smile or nod can make a difference in a person’s day.

As I sat down tonight I was not sure what to write about. So I tried to think of one moment, just one moment from my day when time seemed to take pause in just the right spot. I felt myself pulled from the reality of a busy life and brought to a place where we are reminded of what is always important. It is a beautiful gift to find a friendly face in a crowd, to feel the warmth of someone’s smile, to feel an authentic connection to another human being.

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