Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Scattering Summer Smiles

June 2016
What sunshine is to flowers, smiles are to humanity. these are but trifles, to be sure; but scattered along life's pathway, the good they do is inconceivable." --Joseph Addison

It's the smiles on the faces that stand out to me after a busy month of June...

Our church hosted first a festival then a children's week-long day camp. There were rides, game booths, hamburgers and hotdogs, live bands, and a guy on stilts at the festival. Games and dance, songs and crafts, creative ways to share stories and lessons filled the camp. But overall, what impressions lingered? The memories of beautiful faces and big smiles.

Antonia, Ne'veah, Adam, and Anthony. Erin, Luke, Elana, and Michael. Nicholas, Andy, Gia, and Lily. Beaming faces of those I know and of those whose names now escape me. Fifty kids at last count, including a couple of grandkids--and their new-found friends. The welcoming, the inclusion, the team work, the enthusiasm--all stand out. A microcosm of what we'd like the world to be.

Can we build on this in families, friendships, community? In stories we write, in our books? Not ignoring or sweeping away the realities of the harshness of life, of course, but offering hope and a sense of caring? Can it all start with something so simple as a smile?

It seems like it's possible, especially when you read the evidence. Some examples:

The Day I Learned the Value of a Smile, by Maya Angelou.

Have We Forgotten the Value of the Smile?, Lynn Morrison

Researchers Measure the Value of a Smile, provided by Bangor University

The Value of a Smile, GetMotivated.

What has been your experiences with smiles? Does a smile--yours offered or one received--make a difference? What stands out to you in your summer so far?

Cheers to all. Here's to going forward on our writing goals as the summer marches on--hopefully with a smile.

But I think perhaps without the stilts?


  1. No stilts for me! Smiles are fine, though. I am a big believer in smiling, even at strangers (though we have to be more careful these days).

    My summer writing goals are going well. I'm in a frown stage right now as I plow through some difficult rewriting. But there will be smiles at the end, I hope!

    Good to hear from you again!

    1. Peggy, glad to hear from you, too :-) Difficult rewrites? I guess that would bring frowns but knowing you, you will end up with smiles at the end. I presume your rewrites might have come from insights from conversations with your agent? You are in good hands--and your writing is strong--it will all come together!

    2. Yes, some agent conversations and some rethinking about what I want to say. Thanks for the vote of confidence. And you're right, we keep aiming for the smiles!

    3. Cheering you on :-) Your success in landing an agent continues to inspire those of us still looking forward to that day!

  2. I'm a smiler. It certainly has opened doors for me. However, I have seen the shadow side of being a smiler. There are people who think I am weak because of it. I had conflicts at work at times because people thought I was humble but did not expect me to have a backbone too.
    Oh well, I have pretty good health for my age and I think it has more to do with my happiness factor.

    1. Ann, interesting take on smiles. I'm glad to know you didn't give in to that. Smiles have to do with a kindness factor, not the lack of a backbone! The world needs more smilers, so don't quit because of someone else's opinion :-) Wishing you the best, and thanks for stopping by...

  3. Smiles are important, I agree. I think they are mostly contagious too. A friend once told me how she felt she might be the only "Jesus" someone might meet in a day, and how she wanted to be a loving and kind witness of that. This, I think, can all start with a smile.

    Hope you are enjoying summer so far. Have a great week! :)

  4. Thanks, Karen :-) And, as a start, a smile is an expression of Jesus' love toward others--completely agree with that. Wise words from your friend, indeed. Sending smiles your way and wishing you a great week, too!