and I moved several years ago. And, as it does, it took some time
to get used to the rhythms and surroundings and people in our
new hometown. You understand the ideaÖ
for instance. As the days and weeks pass, you begin to learn what
time lawns get mowed, when to expect the mail to arrive, where
the pools and gardens and children reside, and the general way
of life surrounding you. You might say hello across the street,
or perhaps exchange visits. Once, we heard the doorbell ring,
and we were treated to a delivery of honey from a couple that
raise bees on their property.
have a friend that weíve never met. I believe we may have said
hello once or more, but Iím not certain. But these days we wave
in greeting all the time.
started not long after we arrived. She was walking her dogs, happened
to be approaching the end of our driveway as I was arriving home,
and we made eye contact as I waited for her and her companions
to clear the entrance so I could pull the car off the road. That
eye contact led to a moment where we both smiled, nodded, and
But funny things can happen from simple.
I said, it was early in our new place. We were still getting used
to things. Do you have people walking and jogging and moving around
near you? Kids playing games on summer evenings, perhaps? Someone
that is out exercising and passes your home at the same time every
might take you a while to notice it happening, but we tend to
be creatures of habit. And the same way someoneís schedule allows
them to be riding a bicycle past your house each day around noon
might just match up with your routine of heading out to check
on the mail. And once you notice it, seems like you canít stop
that wave of acknowledgement ice had been broken with her, Terry
and I began seeing our dog walking friend several times a week.
Perhaps it was us, or maybe she recognized our car, but even if
we were off by a bit and passing further down the road, the smiles
and waves became a regular occurrence.
that I believe we may have said hello comment. Since I havenít
had a chance to be introduced to the dogs, I try to give her a
bit of space when she passes our house. No need to get them all
worked up. Nor has a deep conversation ever been initiated. But
every so often, Iíll be out mowing the lawn or checking for something
in the car or just doing something as she arrives on her daily
walk. And Iím fairly certain that we may have said hello on occasion.
trick here is thisÖ we like having her walk by. Itís not something
Terry and I would put down on some list of major features of the
house, but it adds to our sense of community. It feels right to
have people that seem to recognize you, and that you recognize,
that also seem fine with your presence even though you have no
real relationship of any kind. Itís like that pleasant person
and a door held open. They either smile and thank you, or you
smile and thank them. You may never meet again, but the day just
seems slightly better because of a nice moment.
few years ago at work, I decided to try something. I thought it
was going to be absolute hogwash, if Iím being honest. For this
reason or that, I came up with the idea of trying to make eye
contact as often as possible with people, smiling and then saying
what you just thought is almost certainly exactly what I was thinking
as I started. This was basically just going to be a generic thing.
Nothing too adventurous. I wasnít going to interrupt meetings,
knock on cubicle walls, or deliberately seek out as many co-workers
as I could find. Nope. Simple stuff. Instead of looking at the
floor while I walked down a hallway (or doing whatever I could
to look busy and give off a do not bother me vibe), I would purposely
try to connect with folks.
quickly, I actually found myself feeling a bit better. I felt
less frustrated or stressed by the events of the day. I wasnít
investing any significantly increased amount of time with people,
but I felt more connected and engaged.
brings me back to our dog walking friend.
never officially been introduced. I donít know here name, and
likely never will. But I wave every time I see her, and she waves
back. My day is a little bit better as a result.