Last week, I woke up in a surly mood. You know the kind—when you open your eyes and just think “*%&(@%!” for no apparent reason. My whole day looked to be doomed with this black cloud of surliness … until I walked out the front door of my New York City apartment building.
As I emerged onto the busy sidewalk, I was accosted by an enormous cloud of soap bubbles. Swatting through the blizzard, I looked up the street and saw a woman walking away, pushing a stroller. Sticking out of the buggy was a tiny arm holding a battery-powered bubble machine that was exploding shiny spheres all over the mob of similarly surly morning commuters. Squeals of laughter echoed from the stroller.
I watched as people stopped, looked up from their intense sidewalk stares and began to smile. The world tends to beat that childlike wonder out of us. Then all of a sudden we wake up surly, mad at the world or perhaps ourselves, for no reason.
The good news is that it doesn’t take that much to remember: a smile, a kind gesture, a little child with a bubble machine. In a split second, our joy emerges like the morning sun over the horizon.
This message is an excerpt from “Soap angels” by Susan Sparks in the January/February 2021 issue of Gather magazine.