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One day of happy things
on a day I needed cheering up
Today I kept an eye out for happy things, happy sights, and happy people:
- First thing in the morning, I hit my phone’s monthly data limit, which meant I was unable to brood inside my own self-curated digital echo chamber, and consequently put the phone away and looked around more.
- Two women who walked past the café where I sat for a breakfast cup of tea. They shared an umbrella and a joke. Their smiles lit up the street.
- In the same café just minutes later, the moment when a young man got up from the table he had to himself, and offered it to two young mums who had come in with babies-in-pushchairs. “Why don’t you use this table? There’ll be more room for the buggies,” he said. “I can sit over there,” he added, waving to a seat in the window. The mums were reluctant for just a moment, then accepted: “Thank you, that’s very kind,” they said. “No bother,” said the young lad. People still looking out for each other, still doing good things.
- The dog owner who stood patiently waiting as their black labrador paused mid-walkies, head up and alert, sniffing the air. Clearly investigating Important Dog Business. The owner didn’t yank on the lead, didn’t seem to want to interrupt the moment. The dog continued sniffing and looking until it was satisfied that Everything Was OK, then turned its head back to look at its owner. The two of them agreed that walkies could resume, and moved on.
- The reassuring familiarity of trusted colleagues, who shared their own anguish without wallowing in it. We munched the snacks we often buy for one another, and got on with our work.
- Amid grey skies and drizzle, the moment when sunlight burst through and lit up a nearby city spire. “All is not lost,” it told me. “Don’t forget to breathe,” it said. I nodded, and walked on.
- Walking into a mobile phone shop mid-afternoon, to be greeted by a cheery “Hello, welcome, how can I help you?” from a member of staff. As she asked two colleagues lots of questions, it emerged that today was her first day on the job. “You’re doing great,” I said, thumb aloft. She beamed. “Thank you, yeah I’m enjoying myself,” she replied. I left the shop a satisfied customer, glad for her.
- The sky as it turned from pale blue to salmon pink to reddy orange during my train ride home. The world is still a beautiful place. The sun still shines above, while geology still slowly grinds beneath. Most things don’t matter, most of the time. Most people are lovely, most of the time.
(9 Nov 2016)