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The Grace of Arms Wide Open

And there she was! Facing me, her smile, bright with joy, and arms wide open.

A little back story first: I have been working on setting intentions, opening my mind and heart to believe in and bend toward discovering unexpected gifts within ordinary days. On this morning, I picked happiness.

I intended to find joy regardless of my day’s commitments – going to the pharmacy for a booster, taking my car in to check on a failing tire, doing research on a writing project with a deadline, getting a few groceries.

Smiling and hopeful, I showed up a little early for my booster appointment to see there was only a small line. “Great start!” I thought. About 20 minutes later, I noticed the growing line behind me . . . 2, 3, 4 and more had joined. The person at the counter was resolving an issue, and two more in front of me were still waiting. My own appointment time came . . . and went. Our line continued to grow and “not happy” was defining it

That’s when I finally, really, noticed her, where she had been all along . . . sharing my line. She looked about 4 years old, in constant motion, smiling, patiently waiting for Mom to move somewhere new. We locked eyes, and hers shone with sheer happiness. She’d made discoveries while she waited. I quit looking for an escape from the line; joy was standing right in front of me. And, we played.

For 10 more minutes she showed me that the bin to our left held a myriad of red noses that could be moved around, held in various ways and counted in both Spanish and English for . . . well, countless times. And who knew that those structured, clearly-marked areas meant for adults to stand compliantly could so easily be moved and rearranged?

Her mom was finally able to move up, and as she talked with the pharmacist, this child, who embodied happiness, turned to me and held out her arms. I hesitated, but hoping her mom would approve, I held open my arms and she came to me. As we hugged, we both heard the adults behind us respond to the moment. So, this child of light left me to go to every person in our line, giving and receiving gracious hugs.

Happiness is a love feast, a time lifted into grace moments, where what matters is a belief in beautiful possibilities and wide open arms to hold them.

I wish you the joy of those moments during your most ordinary of days.

Sending love,



2 comentários

26 de mai. de 2023

How beautiful children can be! thank you, Jane, for reminding us. I wish we all could stay more like children. Thinking of you, Liz


25 de mai. de 2023

Jane, your arms have always been open since I met you! Hugs and love…Nancy B.

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