Day 279: Smile, smile, smile

chickensmileA while back I adopted the habit of carrying change in my pocket in case I passed a busker or a needy person panhandling.

To any men reading this, you probably find this puzzling. For if you’re anything like my husband, you routinely carry enough change in yur pockets to settle the national debt.

But, for me, and many other women I think, our money is zipped up tight in our wallets buried deeply within our overstuffed handbags. And if faced with the prospect of stopping and awkwardly fumbling through our purse to find it, we’d probably just keep on walking.

That’s a long-winded way of explaining that I was armed with cash when I saw a person sitting on the pavement who looked like he belonged a world away. His skin was nut brown, his crippled legs folded awkwardly in front of him, a gnarled cane at his side.

He held out a crumpled black baseball cap to passersby and , unlike local panhandlers, who usually keep eyes down or staring into the distance, he looked directly at each person and wore the biggest, cheeriest toothless grin I’ve ever seen.

I found myself smiling back even though his circumstances were far from cheery.

As I pulled my readily available coins from my pocket and dropped them in his hat, I looked into his deep brown eyes and I could swear I saw them winkle.

He nodded to me and said, “thank you for your kindness” with a heavy accent and without planning to, I blurted out “God bless you, sir.”

Those twinkly brown eyes and that toothless grin are still
with me somehow ….

P.S. Oh, how I love this song. Enjoy!

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