Saturday, January 17, 2009

Joy

(Yes, I know. Again with the DID.)

I've spent the past few days at a conference, and today I noticed in particular one of the women who was taking care of registration and sign-ins and so forth for those attending. She had an instantaneous and genuine smile for everyone. I think it actually made the room brighter.

There's a picture of me (I still have it somewhere) from when I was in college. I was "tabling" in the student center for a club, distributing literature, and one of my dorm-mates had stopped by. He was not particularly sympathetic to my cause, but made a show of looking over the information we had and promising to give it serious consideration. Somebody snapped a picture of me talking to him. Seeing it later (I hadn't realized it was being taken), I knew that my huge smile was because I was laughing at something he had said. But my face was lit up brilliantly - the whole picture glowed with my happiness. Like the woman at the conference.

Recently, here and there, I've stumbled on a picture of myself from just a few years ago, and I've been struck by what I saw. I'm not saying I've become Mary-Kate Olsen. But in those pictures, I can see that there was something in my face, in my smile, that's missing now. Not youth only - innocence. Lightness. Joy. The woman I met today actually made my day better by her joyfulness.

I think I used to have that, too. And I'm going to get it back.

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