We can all do something to brighten someone’s day.
My area of the world is under a stay at home order because of the COVID-19 pandemic. I fully support this order and believe social distancing is the only way to alleviate some of stresses on our health system, and more importantly, keep people safe, especially the people working in the health system. Though we are staying at home, we can go out to exercise if we adhere to the social distancing guidelines, which I am grateful for.
I chose to head out to a trail near my house. I selected this place because even if there are a lot of people out, there is plenty of room for social distancing. As I suspected, there were a lot of cars in the parking lot for the trail. Even before I arrived, I decide to run the road by the parking lot because the trails might be a bit gooey after all the rains we’ve received.
The road was virtually void of people, so most of the occupants of the cars must have braved the muddy mess, leaving the road to me. I saw a couple of people riding their bikes, but the sidewalk was clear of foot traffic.
(Unless you count the geese, who were waddling around the sidewalk digging in the dirt for what I suspected were worms. Do geese eat worms? I cautiously walked slowly by them because of concerns they had a nest nearby and felt compelled to defend it. I don’t feel like I need a bout with wild geese to be part of my story.)
I stopped at took a photo of the creek, evidence of my outing for the day, and continued pounding out my run. It was bliss.
When I was nearing the end of my run and getting close to the parking lot, an older gentleman ran toward me. (For those who do not run regularly, you may not know about the nod or slight wave of greeting we give each other. It is a bit of a, “hey, another runner!” and a bit of, “Keep it up!” Bikers and runners also sometimes nod or wave, but there seems to be a bit of a friendly rivalry there, too. Bikers always believe biking is better and runners believe running is better, which is something akin to the mild contention I’ve noticed between writers and bloggers.)
As always, when an older runner comes in my view, I think, “Wow. I hope I am running when I reach that person’s age!” When we got closer, we did the runner wave, but his wave was not the subtle gesture of the hand most people do, including me.
It was a full-on extended hand above his head and movement back and forth accompanied by a big smile. His wave made my day. He made me want to wave like that to everyone I see when I run. Heck, he made me want to wave to everyone that way. Though I probably won’t because it is like the Phoebe run. Both I want to do, but don’t like to draw that much attention to myself.
But perhaps now, in this time where we are physically distant from others, is the time to do things that may draw attention to ourselves and make us feel silly. Things that might make us feel uncomfortable but might also brighten someone’s day. There are so many people out there doing so much, putting their lives on the line to make sure we have what we need. Surely, I can do something that makes me feel a little silly if it will put a smile on someone’s face.
And don’t call me Shirley!
Photo by author.