It was cold as I walked out of the building, and I felt bad for the wedding party I passed that had to wait patiently shivering for the newly effervescent couple to appear. I gathered my umbrella from the bursting stand of them, searching briefly through the damp pile. A grandmother shifted to let me by, picking up umbrellas and ruffling through the vegetable garden of metal and plastic.
“I think someone took my umbrella,” she said.
“Oh no! What did it look like?”
“Oh, wait. Here it is.” She straightened and I turned to leave, awkwardly scooting by the wedding photographer on my way through the doors. It drizzled in the parking lot and I shifted my toes to squish against the sides of my shoes. An old man in a suit approached going in, and I quickly glanced away. Just as fast, my eyes came back, and I smiled at him.
“You’re umbrella’s much prettier than mine,” he joked. I laughed and nodded non-commitally as I passed him. Smiling deeper, I twirled the umbrella handle as I walked to my car.
“I’m si-ingin’ in the rain…” I began to mumble.
~ ~ ~
The teacher kept talking, a pleasant, buzzing backdrop to my thoughts. I looked up from my notebook to look around, awkwardly catching the eye of a classmate in the far row of desks. I don’t know her really, just pass her in the hall sometimes. Her glasses magnify her eyes hugely, and she looks petite and adorable and slightly awkward sitting there and staring at me. I start to shove my head back down but change my mind, lifting it again to meet her eyes. I smile–another awkward gesture, hoping I look friendly and not insane. She smiles back in that same, unsure way, and we both return our attention to the professor.
~ ~ ~
The computer keyboard clicks rapidly in time with my fingers, the uneven rhythm creating its own music as the lines of words appear, disappear and reappear on the screen. I tilt my head a bit from side to side, judging the value of what I wrote.
“Hey, honey, how was school today?” My mom asks. I don’t look up, focused on the blinking vertical bar that urges me to keep writing.
“Good,” I toss out, skittering a few more words across the keys. The last sentence doesn’t feel right, and I stop to think for a moment or two. What to say? What to write? Wait. I stop, turning away from the computer to look at my mother. I smile at her. My heart vibrates a little bit in victory.
“I’m glad to hear that,” my mom replies, smiling back. Content now, I turn back to start working again. My fingers lift to start typing–but my mom’s standing next to me in the corner of one eye. She reaches down toward me, wrapping me up close to her. I lean against her, breathing a little bit deeper and smiling again. Suddenly, it’s a good day.
This Just a Thought is a little bit different, but I hope the message got across anyway. It’s the little things in life, really, that matter the most in the end. Where I met the man in the rain, what I learned in the classroom that day, what I was working on tonight when I talked with my mom–all of those do have a place in life, but they’re not the focus of it. We all make little footsteps in other people’s lives, and I hope I manage to tread softly and love deeply. Humans are worth loving, and a smile is as important in the long run as your college degree. What are the moments in your life?