Jake and I just returned from a fabulous, heart-lifting neighborhood walk.
What did we encounter along the way?
Well, let me tell you… 🙂
First, we discovered a small rock painted with the word ‘love’ along a forest pathway. What a surprise! Nestled inside a decomposing tree trunk, the rock was positioned to be found by observant seekers like us.
Second, outside a brightly-painted-blue home, Jake and I were offered springs of fresh cut rosemary. “Take a sprig, or two,” the sign read.
Third, another home had a sign posted inside the front window that exhorted, “Smile. Be happy. Be well.”
I asked, “Are you happy, Jake?”
Jake answered, “Well, yes, Mom. I’m happy,” Jake paused. I knew what was coming. He continued with his heart’s cry and prayer, “I want the virus to go away. I want to see Grandma and Nana and Grandpa. I want to hug them.”
“Me, too, Jake. Me, too,” I agreed. “That someday is coming.”
Fourth, we were greeted with a smile, and wishes of
“Isn’t it a beautiful day?” from many fellow walkers and runners that we passed at a 10-20 feet distance. Even though we kept ourselves away from each other, each welcoming word was infused with the desire to connect and to support one another.
So, refreshing. So good.
Fifth, Jake and I found one of the houses that our dear friends and hosts are selling. We had been on the hunt for it – just to take a peek – for the past few days. Today, Jake and I discovered it! So fun!
Sixth, we observed two teddy bears – one tan and another white – waving from two different house windows.
Seventh, Jake loved identifying two different street names: Tennessee and Kentucky. Each time we read the signs, Jake would grin and then as if he wanted to make certain I knew where we were, he’d affirm, “We’re not in Tennessee, Mom.”
And I’d smile and reply, “No, Jake. We aren’t.”
And then, when reaching Kentucky Avenue, Jake laughed and offered again, “We aren’t staying in Kentucky, either!”
“Nope, Jake,” I agreed. “We certainly aren’t staying put in Kentucky either.”
Eighth, all the while the temperatures were fine. Incredibly fine, in fact. The blue, clear April sky continued to invite us onward. The sun radiated warmth, light, and love upon every single thing that its rays embraced with their long, shiny and bright, welcoming reach.
Ninth, towards the end of our longer-than-usual-eighty-minute walk, a woman walked outside of her garage.
She greeted us.
Then she asked, “Have you been well?”
To which I replied and said we had.
She continued, “This shelter-in-place time isn’t easy for me.”
“I’m sorry,” I offered.
“I’m ready to get out and about!” she declared. “But, I won’t. Not just yet.”
“That’s wise,” I said in support as she was part of the over-sixtiesh, at-risk population for COVID-19 infection.
“I hope you have a lovely walk. Stay well and safe,” the nice woman said in closing as she returned to her garage.
Jake and I countered with the same good wishes.
Tenth, as Jake and I walked down the hill towards our friends’ home, an elderly man rode towards us on his bicycle.
His smile and blessing delighted my soul, “Isn’t today just glorious? We surely need a joyous day like today!”
Indeed, we do.
I hope you are looking for the blessings that both abide and abound all around you – in sunshine and in shadow.
Truly, we are encouraged to look for the gifts of God’s love and joy each day:
Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.
New International Version, 1 Thessalonians 5: 16-18
Keep Smiling, my friends.
Seek gifts of joy in your day, my friends.
Keep well, my friends.
May your day be filled with sunshine delights and joy-filled greetings.