Sometimes the current state of our world as a whole really starts to get to me. There are wars being waged for reasons I’m not entirely sure of, poverty, illness, and violence. Pollution clouds our skies, and oil is staining our oceans. It’s all pretty damn heavy. And, sometimes, I start to get sad. But then, it’s funny. Life puts someone in front of me to remind me that there is still so much good.
Let me tell you a little about Love and Beauty…
Love and Beauty is the name of a homeless man that lives in Beverly Hills. I know this because he told me. He wheeled himself up to me as I was sitting outside folding napkins before I left work one day. There was nothing special about this day – other than Love and Beauty. He quietly wheeled himself up to me in his shiny chair and started talking about what a gorgeous day is was. He smiled a simply beautiful smile. White teeth against his chocolate skin. And dimples. He has deep dimples when he smiles.
Though I’m not sure how old he is, I’d place him at about 60. He has the look of someone who has been in this world long enough, and seen enough, to know that when all is said and done, smiling is all we can do.
I didn’t ignore Love and Beauty. Instead, I smiled back. He asked me how I was, and I replied that honestly, my feet hurt, and that I was so happy just to breathe the air I was breathing that I couldn’t stop smiling. He asked me my name and I said Ashley. He said it wasn’t Ashley – that it was Even More Love and Beauty. I said I liked that a lot better than Ashley.
He told me about his mother; how she had 8 kids and raised them all alone. How she named each one of them in love. And he got Love and Beauty. We chatted for a few more minutes about women holding up the universe, and after looking down for mere seconds, I looked up, and he had silently disappeared. But I felt happier.
Love and Beauty appeared again a few weeks later as I was sitting outside with a co-worker, again, folding napkins after work. He smiled his smile. I said Hello Love and Beauty. He said Hello Even More Love and Beauty. I said how are you Love and Beauty? He said I’m better now! We continued to speak back and forth, laughing, as my co-worker smiled and laughed despite herself. One of the bussers even came out, and Love and Beauty made him smile profusely too.
Love and Beauty once again disappeared as quickly and as silently as he had appeared. And instead of just me, he left three of us smiling and laughing. I know he’ll appear again when I need to smile.
Thank you Love and Beauty. Thank you for reminding me that breathing the air, and passing a little love, and light, and kindness on to those around us is what this world is really all about.
It’s all it’s ever been about.
And, because we’ve always got to pay it forward – In the name of Love and Beauty, please smile so big it hurts at someone today and tell them they’re all light and love and glory and amazing-ness. Love and Beauty makes me smile…and I really hope he made you smile too.