Toothless Grin

I enjoy finding beauty in an average day. There are so many moments that take my breath away, and sometimes it feels like there isn’t enough space in my heart to hold them all at once. It’s like I’m turning into some kind of happy-moment-hoarder and I need an outlet. That’s when I remembered: I have this blog where many of my deep, and sometimes silly, thoughts quietly drift. Brace yourself, this shit is about to get pretty happy.

Almost everyday after work I walk to FedEx to drop transcripts off for my students. It’s about 3 blocks from my office and I have experienced a handful of “downtown moments” since I started doing this. Moments where I have conversations with strangers that often leave me with a smile on my face and a skip in my step. But I had a special day last week where I felt bombarded with things that made my heart swell, so I thought I’d share one and maybe even make it a habit if I’m lucky.

A windstorm had come through the city late that afternoon and it shook the windows in the office. Thick black storm clouds hovered over the tall buildings, and litter was lifted into the air. But it was 5:00 and I had to get my students transcripts mailed before I went home. So I slipped through the glass door of the building I work in and braved the strong gusts. I had a silky black dress on with a white stripe down the middle, it buttons all the way up and I keep it at the end of my clothes rack with my “feel good” dresses.

But I felt far from good as the wind tried to sweep me one way and my dress the other. My hair felt like it was stuck between a cheap blowdryer on high and my lipstick smeared lips. Halfway to FedEx my fingers began to hurt from having such a tight grip on the documents I was delivering and the pyrex bowl tucked tightly between my arm and side. But I instantly forgot about all of these messy details when I exchanged a few words with a man that stood next to me waiting for the crosswalk to be clear.

I asked him how his day was going and he responded with a swift run on sentence (my kinda guy). He told me how incredible his day was. Before I could ask why he was so happy he went on to tell me that he has been having surgeries on his shoulder for almost 5 years. Doctors could not ease the pain and it was one problem after the other, but today was different. He got his Xrays back and found out that he’ll never have to have another surgery again. We began to walk. He pulled out his Xrays and showed them off with a huge grin on his face. I complimented them the best I could and tried to add to his endorphin rush, but that’s just simply hard to top.

We went our separate ways shortly after that, but the 30 seconds of bliss he shared with me had a consuming effect on my attitude. I had this dorky smile on my face all the way to my car and the wind suddenly changed and blew my worries away. Sure, the day was filled with garbage (literally) and my bum may have been revealed when the wind lifted my dress. But I’m thankful for that man, and I’ll never forget his toothless grin. He made that downtown moment an experience I’ll always treasure and my appreciation for my healthy body feel so much more present. So shine on, sweet man. I hope you feel strong enough to swoop your grandchildren in your arms without an ounce of pain.