I sat in my car, eating the 2nd half of my banana, reflecting on my morning’s walk on the boardwalk.
For two days in a row, I’ve joined the ‘unofficial’ group that enjoys working out by running, walking, skateboarding, surfing, bike riding, or taking their dogs for an early morning walk, before the throngs of beachgoers arrive with their children and as many gadgets they can pile into their wagons to enjoy a day at the beach.
There are the young children, teens, middle age, elderly, those being pushed in strollers and those in wheelchairs all just happy to get to the beach and do their thing. I have become like my Mom, where a smile always slips out of my closed lips, as I acknowledge everyone during my walk or when I take a minute to rest on one of the benches.
Mostly, people are unsure if I’m smiling at them, but there are the many who like me cannot help but smile in return, and/or even say “good morning.” Today, as I stopped to rest on a chair, I couldn’t help but smile at the little black, curly haired dog who was approaching. His owner, a youngish, quite plump man, asked if it was okay for his dog to come to me to be petted, as it seemed was his dog’s intention. Of course, I said, absolutely yes! And so, we chatted briefly, and then he continued his walk.
As I had looked around me, I observed the locals, like me, and thought of the tens of thousands of people, from all over the United States and perhaps beyond too, who trek to our oceanfront resort to enjoy their Summer vacations, as they have already been doing this Summer. And, I reflected that we truly have a beautiful city, not just the beach, but the three miles long boardwalk is hugely popular, lots to do and see and listen to and participate in, for every age group. I consider myself so blessed that our family get to live in Virginia!!
“…and don’t wipe it off, sweat America, sweat I said, yes sweat and don’t wipe it off…” I remember looking to see where this command was coming from. And that’s when I saw her, in her slightly bell bottomed pants, black slip on sandals and thick black socks, peering out from under a beach umbrella that I recognized, because it had a lot of religious words on it, that I remember seeing before. I recall wondering often throughout the past couple of months, even when the temperature was cooler, who slept under that umbrella on the wooden bench. And today, I got to meet her, through her commands to “sweat America, and don’t wipe it off” and the silhoute of a slight, petite lady pacing back and forth in front of perhaps her life’s belongings, connecting with the world around her by encouraging them to, “sweat AMERICA, sweat, and don’t wipe it off…”
And I listened carefully, never one to miss an opportunity to receive encouragement, guidance, and a touch of a ‘cheer’ or a touch of, hmm, mentoring (because isn’t that one of the things mentors do, i.e. cheer their proteges on as they see them progress along in their goals.) So from my little lady’s command, what I heard instead was “don’t give up Yasmin, don’t be discouraged, you will have setbacks, you may not get to do everything you think you should do, but keep working at it, and when you accomplish those things you set forth to do, don’t forget your ‘climb’, and remember to help others who are also ‘climbing’ towards their goals.”
More to come…(2nd in a Summer Series)