I saw her today – for the first and probably last time.
I don’t usually do that: look at people, especially strangers. They might look back. They might want to talk. What then? But something about her captured my eyes and would not let them go.
She looked worn; perhaps from being a mother who never got a “thank you,” perhaps from holding a job where she was invisible to those she served. It didn’t matter. She wasn’t invisible to me. I saw her sadness.
I had no idea what to do. Talk to her? No. I didn’t have the courage. Follow her until she said something? No. That would be too creepy. I thought to just let her go about her business, just walk by and never see me again, just disappear into our safe little worlds – worlds of fear, despair, inaction. But no. Not today. Not for the sad woman.
And then it happened: a miracle. She looked up to me and for one brief beat our eyes met. Not a word was spoken, but a connection was made. I smiled at her and she smiled back.
The time we spent together was short, yet the memory meaningful and strong. We both looked away and went on with our days, both the happier for what had happened. I shall probably never see her again. Today was our moment.
You are not alone. Your pain is felt by others. Reach out to them. A smile is a strong dose of medicine. Use yours today.