It was one of those days. There were too many voices in my head, too many ideas that flittered in and out of my mind so quickly that a complete picture could not be formed. Deadlines were fast approaching, and I sat and stared at a blank canvas—too many feelings, yet not enough feelings. I was angry at the injustices of the world, disappointed in mankind and how cruel we could be, frustrated that I couldn’t change the world and make it a better place. To clear my mind, I went to one of the parks in Alexandria to run. On my second lap, I noticed a van had pulled into the parking lot and several caregivers were helping about a dozen men with special needs exit the van. Their group began to spread out around the park, some walked at a quicker pace eager to see what was around the next curve. A few jogged. And a few hung back, as if they were fearful and uncomfortable being out of their regular routine and environment. As I topped one of the hills, I looked down and one of the gentlemen was running up the hill. He was smiling from ear to ear and the look of pure, childlike joy made me stop. As I watched him enjoy this simple accomplishment, the chaos in my head was silenced. As he topped the hill, he threw his hands in the air and started jumping up and down still grinning as if he had just won the Boston Marathon.
As I was leaving the park, I noticed a man that had been walking was leaving too. In his hand, he held a flower he had picked somewhere in the park. He looked at me but I could tell he wasn’t really seeing me, he was thinking of whomever the flower was intended for. His intention was to make someone’s day brighter. And maybe that’s all we need to do. Just make one someone’s day brighter and not try to change the whole world all at one time. Sometimes all it takes is just a smile or a flower picked from a park on a beautiful day in Fall.