With the wave of a hand
I see him most days on my ride home from work. He used to be standing on one side of the road, but now he is usually sitting on a step on the other side.
Every time I do see him, however, he is doing the same thing; waving to all of the cars that go by.
At first I didn't wave back because I had no idea who he was and because of that, I thought that he surely couldn't be waving at me.
Nonetheless, every day, he would wave.
His gesture made me smile, and eventually I started waving back.
Now I find myself looking for him, just so I can wave.
I even feel a little bummed out if he's not there.
My daughter was with me one day when she saw me wave to him.
"Mom, you are so embarrassing. Why are you waving? Do you even know him?" she uttered as she sank down in her seat.
"Because he waved first and no, I do not," I replied.
Geez, since when did you need a license to be friendly?
"That's just weird. You are such a creeper, mom," she said.
I can't tell you how many times his simple act has lifted my spirits and brought me happiness, even if only momentarily.
I wonder if he knows how his waving impacts others.
We drive around every day going hither and yonder in a world full of hurt, pain and uncertainty.
Often that quiet time in the car gives us a just little bit too much time to reflect on all of our worries and woes.
We can become so lost in our thoughts that sometimes, I wonder how I even got from point A to point B as I have no recollection of driving there due to some heavy burden weighing on my mind.
But to have a total stranger, look me in the eye from across the street, smile and wave to me helps to pull me out of the darkness and get a little glimpse of the light.
I think the acknowledgment is much more than just a greeting; it's like saying "I see you and we are all in this thing together."
It's kind of like how motorcycle enthusiasts will give each other a little wave as they pass by to indicate their camaraderie.
I keep telling myself that one of these days after work, I am going to pull over and sit down next to this man, ask him his name and tell him how much I appreciate his waves.
I also think that one of these days I am going to sit out on my porch and do the same; not only to maybe put a smile on someone else's face and brighten their day, but also to really embarrass my daughter by doing something that is apparently unthinkable and down right creepy.
All with the wave of a hand.