“I love you.”
Strong arms hold me in a fierce and joyful embrace. Eyes shine down, brimming with laughter. The handsome, bearded face smiles into mine.
“Will you marry me?”
No, I’m not dreaming. Though it may count as the quickest proposal in history. I tend to like to know someone for more than 30 seconds…
I had been minding my own business, trying to get in and out of the supermarket in record time when I was stopped by two young men, possibly in their mid thirties. The smaller one touched my arm and spoke, in desperate tones.
“You are a woman.”
This, I thought, was fairly self-evident and required no answer.
“A pretty one too,” said the giant Adonis, eyes twinkling with mischief. Ooh, how nice.
“We need to you settle a debate…” Advice on the tastes of womankind in general was asked and given… a sort of either/or situation. Apparently I sided with Adonis, and was rewarded with both hug and proposal.
A brief encounter, of no consequence, noteworthy simply because it made me smile.
It doesn’t take a lot, of course. I would far rather smile than frown and will generally do so just for the sheer joy of living. But you can’t beat the spontaneous smiles that arise from sharing a moment with another human being.
What made the moment stand out was not the laughing exchange of words, not even the compliment, but the momentary lack of any masks or barriers between three strangers. It is unusual, sadly, for strangers to approach each other, much less to talk, smile and laugh with each other for no real reason.
It struck me what a shame that is, and how many barriers to potential joy we put in our own way. We are so hemmed in by the way we are raised, our national character, perhaps, particularly in England with its traditional stiff upper lip and polite but distant smile.
I remember smiles…the ones that come from within and light up the eyes, illuminating the face that wears it and that of the one to whom it is directed. The eyes may be alight with mischief and laughter, or with gentleness and kindness, but the genuine smiles that come from the depths of being do not fade. They are healing, infectious and their beauty remains, from the first smile of an infant to the time when age has overlaid them with a tracery of lines.
Reposted for the launch on Ronovan’s BeWoW venture.