In addition to my usual smiles over the ordinary stuff, I thought I would share two other things that made me smile today.
At our YMCA, there is a Vortex pool. The Vortex is an oval shaped current pool that allows you to exercise by working against the current or "go with the flow" and ride along in the current. I, personally, enjoy getting a good work out against the current and then kicking back with a pool noodle for a relaxing float.
Hanging out in the Vortex today was one of "the regulars". This particular "regular" makes me smile every time I see him. I don't know his name. I don't know much about him at all. What I do know is that he is a large young man, likely a teenager, who is loved by God and valued beyond measure. My guess is that he has a diagnosis of a severe cognitive disability and autism. I've never heard him say a word, but I hear him every time he is there. I learned that this young man, along with some sort of support worker, comes pretty much every day to partake in this special daily routine.
The thing that makes me smile about this young man is the amazing enjoyment he clearly gains from his nightly plunge. He spends an hour or more going around and around in that Vortex. He slowly bobs up and down in the current, sometimes rolling over, sometimes completely submerging himself. Much of the time, he vocalizes loudly, nothing specific,but clearly happy. While he appears somewhat oblivious to others around him, he manages not to run into anyone else sharing the waterway with him. Every so often, his support worker tosses him a ball, which he holds onto as he circles. When he comes around to her again, he hands the ball back to her. Much of the time, his face holds no readable expression. But suddenly, without warning, he might break into a large grin with eyes that sparkle as if he is keeping the best secret ever. My guess is, although he can't express it, he enjoys this experience more than anyone else in the Y. Despite his "limitations", he is living these moments full out with unabashed delight. He is literally soaking in the moment and living out loud. Every time I see him, I am challenged, encouraged, and delighted. Every time I see him, he makes me smile.
I love the great outdoors. Unlike many women, I don't mind roughing it or getting a bit grimy. Some of my favourite moments are those spent in nature. Our Calgary home, therefore, was a bit of a stretch for me. While the amazing Rocky's were not far from where we lived, our yard and neighborhood itself was far from my ideal physical environment. Good neighbors - yes! Good scenery - no.