This is supposed to be my day off, but I'm already busy, running errands first thing in the morning. Having made a quick trip to the bank and grocery store, I'm picking up tacos for Mateo's breakfast, before heading home to clean the kitchen and start fixing lunch for family who are coming to celebrate Mateo's birthday in a few hours. Doing my best to relax, but still feeling a bit rushed as I come zooming out of the restaurant, tacos in hand.
OLD MAN AND A BOY
Standing on the sidewalk right outside the front door is a heavy-set, ruddy-faced, gray-haired man, holding a slender, tow-headed boy in one arm, while half-tickling, half-wrestling him with the other. They are having a great time. The child is about a year old, and seems to be at least fifty years younger than the man, who is almost certainly his grandfather; there's a clear family resemblance in the cast of their eyes, the jut of their jaws.
It's easy to see that they've played this little game many times before; there's a deep familiarity expressed in their joy as they continue jousting and jesting, testing each other's balance, taking turns giggling and squirming, time and again.
BUNDLE OF JOY
He handles the child effortlessly with large, calloused hands, his biceps and forearms bulging under a well-worn, denim work shirt, reflecting a lifetime of physical labor. The two are fully engaged with each other, playing comfortably, paying no attention whatsoever to the steady stream of customers flowing in and out of the café, many of whom find themselves caught up in their joy, smiling at the sight of these two, just as I am.
Watching them makes my heart glow. Reminds me of those long-ago days when my son and I played similar games under similar circumstances. Re-affirms my faith in the underlying goodness of Life, in the continuity of love, the power of heartfelt connections being forged effortlessly, wordlessly between familial generations and total strangers alike.
NOT JUST A PLOY
Yes, life can seem awfully fast and challenging at times, but these two shining souls are living proof that seeds of joy are constantly being planted, too, with the potential for blossoming at random, in times and places where we least expect them.
Driving home, I find myself feeling deeply grateful for this reminder, while wondering what seeds of joy I can plant today. And then it occurs to me that one thing I could do is to write about this incident, then share it with you, ending the story with the same question that the grandfather/grandson have planted in my heart: What seeds of joy can YOU sow today?
With gratitude and blessings,