Angel on the Pathway

Total strangers we were yesterday morning; total strangers we are still. And yet, something magical transpired between myself and this grand-motherly woman while we made our way towards one another from opposite directions on the urban pathway. In the midst of my breathless striding, this gentile, walking-woman looked directly into my face. Then she paused ever so briefly as I passed by, and in the blinking of an eye, I noticed her eyes looking into mine.

Her eyes sparkled with intent, and held my curious, questioning gaze. Her eyes seemed locked onto mine with keen attention. This is not the usual behavior between strangers on the pathway, At most, passersby offer a polite nod of the head or flick a hand with an easy wave. However, in those brief seconds, our eyes locked onto the other’s in seeming recognition. And then it happened, before I could break my gaze, a brilliant smile shone from her face.

Something like an electric shock-wave rippled across the span of my heart-space. Such genuine delight and joy displayed in that moment…that millisecond. How could so much love and joy exude from one unknown to me? A stranger, bestirring such strong, warm emotion within my being?

“Smile at strangers and you just might change a life.” – Steve Maraboli

Who does that? Walkers and joggers? How many strangers make eye contact and smile with such vigor in passing another as to impart such joyful enthusiasm upon the unsuspecting psyche of an unknown other?

“Everytime you smile at someone, it is an action of love, a gift to that person, a beautiful thing.” – Mother Teresa

And yet, twenty-four hours later, I still see her, the walking-path angel. I see her eyes… as they are seeing me…seeking me…searching my face and upon finding me, beaming her joy directly into my heart-space. Our chance passing? A random timing? I do not know, but I am grateful for the amazing microburst of happiness this encounter poured into my being…right there on the urban path during yesterday’s Sunday morning run. I was instantly undone…over-come…over-run by the waves of my own heart’s awakening joy. All because of one, very large, authentic, heartfelt smile.

Thank you, my beautiful, smiling, pathway-angel..for reminding me of this simple grace…the power of love warms hearts with joy, when we bestow a smile on our face.

Lighten Up!

He says my smile makes my eyes light up and my face shine bright. He says my smile makes all things right…in the world…his and mine. I chuckle when he tells me this silly little truth, because a smile sometimes is the hardest thing for me to do. ‘We are not children anymore my dear; our days are full of care and bother, under our bridge has churned much water. So please glance light, and notice not my furrowed brow; I must pack my smiles away for now; for safe keeping in a trunk somewhere, I think’. But then I remember how a smile…his smile, warms me with delight; how it makes hard things simple, and simple things light. I hear his words replay, a gentle reminder to send a smile his way; and before I can raise a practiced scowl, a bubbling arises and quivers my lips; my eyes light up and my face shines bright, and I can’t help but do what he asks. So I send him my smile…and delight of delights…my smile is returned and makes all things right…in the world…his and mine.


Smiling really does delight and lighten the hearts of those in the world in which we live, and there is science to back up what we seem to know intuitively, namely, smiling releases those happy, feel-good hormones into our bloodstream, sending positive healing nourishment coursing through our circulatory and immune systems. A smile needs no lexicon, no thesaurus, no cross-cultural dictionary…it spans every ethnic boundary. It communicates acceptance, honor, joy, delight, love and fun. Sometimes we smile to be polite and that is an extremely helpful and socially acceptable behavior to practice in our modern, fast-paced society. And while the polite social smile may not carry with it the genuine warmth and sincerity of an authentic heart-felt smile, used liberally throughout our busy days, it still does a world of good, for the sender and the receiver.

We shall never know all the good that a simple smile can do.
Mother Teresa