For four years as I’ve driven down a road in my area, I’ve been the happy recipient of a giant smile and friendly wave.
It took me a while to figure out what was going on. To be honest I assumed I was mistaken for someone else. Not until I was out running one day did I realize that this sweet older man, wearing his large brimmed hat, waves and smiles at EVERY car that passes him.
There’s no schedule to his appearance. He walks in the early morning hours to late afternoon, but his gait and hat are distinguishable as you approach.
I look forward to seeing him. I wonder about him and who he is and what his story is.
I’ve discovered over the four years I’ve received and returned his gesture of friendliness how much I look forward to seeing him. When I realize I’ve missed him for a few days, I can’t help but feel a bit like I missed out and hope he is well.
While his identity is a mystery, I’ve developed a sense of defensiveness and sadness when I see him waving and smiling at other cars and they simply ignore him.
While our daily schedules have such a great range of inconsistency, what is so wonderful is that I seem to see him on days when I can use the giant smile and warm wave the most. It always amazes me how no matter my level of stress and chaos, his simple expression lightens the load.
So thank you Mr. Giant Smile and Friendly Wave. You are a treasure and I appreciate the simple expressions of kindness you continue to extol.