A smile is what I’m talking about. The kind that reaches the eyes, that lights up a countenance like a million candlepower flashlight. Have you ever seen one of those beams? They’re incredibly powerful lights, and a heck of a lot of fun to play with. I know because we got one as a gift one year and everyone of us turned into six year olds, running around outside to shine it up at the sky, pretending the aliens had landed, etc., you get the idea right?
As soon as I was truly awake, which took a few minutes I’ll admit, music began to play in my mind. The first song was part of Van Morrison’s “Moondance”, which led to “Days Like This”, specifically, “When there’s no one complaining, they’ll be days like this… .” Which is mellow and sweet. There I was toggling between bouncy, romance-y, moonlit lyrics and Days Like This, all before the kettle was set on the fire. Right then, I knew, today would be special
In between the songs I kept remembering a couple of young women who had stood in line behind us at Magic Mountain this weekend. They continually made fun of various strangers as they walked by. Nothing loud, just a quiet exchange between themselves about hair, or choice of clothes. And then they’d laugh as if it was harmless fun. They were keeping themselves entertained during the long, hot wait to ride a roller coaster. This memory kept coming to mind since then, like a pebble getting smoothed out on the shore. I often hear people putting themselves down or the strangers around them. It’s looking for the worst bits in ourselves, another person or situation and highlighting it. That’s bonkers. That is probably what’s keeping people from looking happy as they go about their days. Maybe.
On the way to the market a new song, or rather, one line of a song popped up, probably to counter the crease forming between my eyebrows as I sorted out the why’s of judging clothes, ourselves, and people in general. “Don’t you worry ’bout a thing mama…” ah, Stevie Wonder. Excellent selection, I had to hand it to wherever this music was coming from, very lovely stuff there. Keep it light seemed to be the lesson behind it all.
The best part of all this music, these words set to percussion and bass, is that they put a smile on my face and this paints the day with what I can only call cheer. I was smiling, and saying good morning to strangers and you know what? They smiled and said good morning back, sometimes with a touch of surprise in their tone, or a startled look, as if I had shaken them awake. They looked pleased, maybe they too heard something they liked and had decided that today would be most excellent for them.
It was then that I heard Robin Williams as the Genie, saying “PHENOMENAL COSMIC POWERS”… (you really have to hear the boom in his voice to get the maximum effect) and I realized the power we hold in something as easy as a smile. Go forth and wield that power, extra points for dancing down the halls.