(written January 21, 2016)
I thought I’d try to practice what I was preaching in my previous post — to notice and to share some positive aspects of living — so I took a walk on a cold day, turned my collar up and also turned the corners of my mouth up into what is normally known as a smile, but might have appeared more like a grimace in the cold air. It was no matter to a fellow pedestrian and neighbor who was walking toward me. Before she could even make out any specific facial expression of mine, she sent out a jubilant greeting: “Good afternoon what a beautiful day!” We’d never met, but she embodied the kind of positivity the lack of which I bemoaned in my previous post. Her enthusiasm was contagious and her company warmed me up. My eyes were tearing in the cold, but it was a cleansing cry, as if my vision was being wiped clean to see things new and fresh, bare and exposed in the winter air. The birches gleamed in the sunlight. The chickadee chatter overlapped with the jay’s floating fluted notes, and I found the pecking Pileated woodpecker in the crotch of a tree — a natural symphony with no written score, no pages turning and no audience coughing, just two neighbors pausing to share a moment of listening before walking in opposite directions.