01 October 2008

Smile Loudly

As I walked into Kroger on Charlotte Ave. yesterday, I saw a tall man in the parking lot. His face wore wrinkles like a shar pei. His body wore Carolina blue pants that hugged his waist right above his belly button, a white pullover and a baseball cap to match his pants. In his hand, which was worn by age, he carried a rectangular old school cassette player—the kind with 5 black push buttons and one red one. The player blared a Cher tune while Tall Old Man stepped in time, bobbling his head like a baseball player figurine taped to the dashboard of a car. His movements were small and almost arthritic, but he danced through the parking lot each step of the way.

“Do you believe in life after love? I can feel something inside me say . . .”

I laughed. I wasn’t making fun of him with my laugh. I laughed to participate in his joy.

He heard my laugh. And creating my all-time favorite grocery store moment, Tall Old Man responded to my laughter, “I love to hear you smile!” as he continued to let the music move him.

May your day be filled with special moments that move you to dance to the rhythm of life. May you find a moment to participate in someone else’s joy. And may you always smile loudly enough for the world to hear.

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