Thursday, 30 October 2014

You are never fully dressed without a smile.

I posted this song on my Facebook page this morning.

I have been thinking about it since.
I feel as if it is really true you know. The idea that you are never fully dressed without a smile.

I think part of my desire to dress in colour is my outward expression of finding happiness.
Smiling and happiness kind of go hand in hand don't they.

People often say to me "You are always so happy, so relaxed".
I'm not. Just as I am sure you are not.
ALWAYS is a LONG time!
But I really really try to be both of those things.

I have had my fair deal of hardships.  Some crippling for a LONG time.
Some I still struggle with every single day and I have come to accept that they are part of me.
Part of a whole.
Some parts good, some not so good.
Some parts I am comfortable with , some that make me uneasy.
Some parts I feel I have achieved what I want,  some a work in progress.
I accept that every person is a work in progress, always doing their very best at any given point.
Everyone's reality is a very different thing on any given day.

One thing I try really really hard to do each day is to find joy.
Joy in small things.
Things that don't have quantifiable or monetary value as such but the small simple pleasures.

A smile is one of them.
A smile is not bound by language.
It is a communal and universal gesture of kindness.

Years ago I wrote this post about how we love to use our front yard and I  mentioned an elderly lady who lives in my street.
She has been walking up and down my street every day that we have lived here- I think we worked out the other day that it is SEVEN years!

Every time I saw her I would look at her, smile and say Hello. Every time for the first five years she would duck her head and keep walking.

Then one day she didn't duck her head.
That one day she looked me in the eyes and said in a very quiet & heavily accented voice "Hello" and nodded with a smile.
After she had walked past my fence a tear rolled down my cheek.
It all made sense.
She hadn't been saying 'Hello' or acknowledging me, not because she was grumpy or didn't want to interact but because she didn't speak a word of English & she was frightened to speak.
I felt overcome. It was such a big thing. And I am so so glad that I kept on saying 'Hello'.
Our communal language was a smile.
She smiles and says 'Hello' every day now. There is no need for more words than that one.
So much power in one word and one gesture.

I hope something or someone makes you smile today.
It feels so so good.
Both to receive and to give.


  1. Dear Ruth, Although I love reading your food words, I love your wisdom and insights even more. We have a similar story about a neighbour who walked past for years and years (our home is on the street to the station) and then about a year ago he also smiled and now he even adds a hello.

    It feels so good doesn't it?

    I also know the joy of receiving a comment on the blog post. This joy came about because I followed your example to write one. I will always be grateful to you for this, because it has brought me such pleasure. Sharing the conversations of life is a happy activity but also a critically necessary one eh?
    All the best to you and your family
    (takes off her

  2. oh thank you!
    Yes it is a JOY to receive comments!
    It really is.
    I didn't realise that I had inspired you to write your own blog.
    But even better to hear how it brings you so much pleasure. That is what blogging is ALL about!
    that is SO GREAT!

  3. Always like a smile and I like if a friend beeps their horn at me as I am walking or waves hello to me as they pass on the other side of the road.

  4. Ruth - thank you for continuing to say hello to that lady in your street for FIVE years. So kind, so neighbourly, and demonstrates that you walk your talk.
    That's brought me such joy today, as do your awesome colours and general yay-ness.
    Oh now I really want to make your wandering neighbour a cake!
    Would she accept a bunch of your rosemary?
    Hello = I see you. I welcome you. I accept you. So powerful. 💛💛💛💛

  5. I love when people smile at me - it is so easy to feel invisible in this world so when someone smiles at you it makes you feel visible. Thanks Ruth xx

  6. oh I just read this and is wonderful writing. A smile is such a simple and beautiful gesture. It made me think of the movie, Under the Tuscan Sun, Have you seen it? Kate

  7. Smiling at strangers is a funny one, I often find people avoid eye contact... although I seem to be on a winner with elderly gentleman! I'm glad you kept greeting her every day, you must have lit her up inside :)

  8. Amy {The Misadventurous Maker}11 November 2014 at 18:25

    You are so right and so gorgeous Ruth. I'm glad that you're not perfect. Only dull people are! But you certainly are wise.xoxoxo


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