Friday, March 23, 2012


Gorgeous white trees
Despite the freeze
Petals falling
Caught in the air
Please lay me down to rest

Reverie, mist
Clouds that drift
Empty hands
Clasped in each other
Please find me soon unless...


If I take the wings of the morning and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea, 
even there your hand shall lead me, and your right hand shall hold me.
Psalm 139: 7, 9 - 10

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

why I smile at people

A true story, complete with excessive sappiness. But hey! it's spring... can I have a sappy post, just this once?

The other day, I was at the dining hall with one of my friends. It had been a long day, I was tired, and I wasn't feeling particularly cheery. My favorite thing to get at the dining hall (besides granola and almond milk!) is "Made To Order Pasta." Essentially, you go up to the Made To Order Pasta bar, talk to the cook, and she will make a pan of pasta cooked how ever you want it. I like mine with pesto, spices, broccoli, peppers, sauce, and a little Parmesan cheese. If you haven't tasted this, you are severely missing out! But, right, this is not my baking blog...

So, back to the story. That day, I walked up the Made To Order Pasta bar and found myself waiting in an extremely long line. I watched the cook at the stove as she tended to the three pans of pasta it could hold at a time. Each of these pans had different specifications, cooking instructions, and in some cases, dietary restrictions. While the food cooked, she restocked her different containers of vegetables and other ingredients at her counter. She seemed to have a great deal of experience in managing each of her demanding tasks. 

Fifteen minutes and about 8 people later, my turn had finally arrived. Our cook at the counter asked me what I'd like and I requested several different ingredients for my pasta. Then I thanked her, smiling at her. Right away, I saw her entire countenance brighten. Most of the students before me had thanked our cook. Some even called her "Ma'am" which I thought was really cute. Our cook would nod, make sure the student got his or her food off the counter, and go back to taking orders. But when I smiled at our cook, she looked at me and smiled back. I could practically see her taking a deep breath and her shoulders relaxing. It was as if her whole demeanor changed just from my smile. This experience in turn made me smile even more.

Before that day, I had never thought of the impact that a smile can have. When I am talking to my friends or people I meet, I tend to smile a lot. In the case of complete strangers or people I will never see again though, I rarely give them any eye contact, much less smile at them. It’s me vs. the world. I keep my eyes down and avoid everybody.

Smiling on this random day has completely changed my perspective on the people going about their day-to-day lives around me. They are probably just as tired or stressed out as I am. Honestly, the people I see on the bus, at the library, or even at the dining hall don't want to eat me up... they just want to know that there are other humans out there too. In smiling, I feel like I am making the world a nicer, more personal place. Besides, it is SO much fun when people smile back at me. Smiling at people is pretty much my new hobby in life. 
{and hope does not put us to shame}