by Marcy Lytle
It was early one weekday morning and I was driving to deliver my work, cruising down a street I frequent often. Over to the right, he caught my eye. He was an elderly man with a cute hat on his head, and he had just stepped out of his front door. He waved at me, and I mean he really waved hard! It wasn’t just a glance and flip of the hand. He waved at me as if he’d seen a long lost friend he’d been waiting on for years to drive by!
In fact, his wave was so strong and heartfelt, and accompanied by a big smile, that I felt overjoyed when I waved back. It was so strange, I even laughed at loud. I wasn’t laughing at him. I was laughing at the joy that overtook me. The connection and the joy of a hand wave had made my day.
Honestly, that little wave set me on a course to notice all the joys in that one day. I went to Target and got a spot right up front.
A hat I purchased ended up being on sale, and I didn’t know it until I paid! I then found the CUTEST basket for five bucks for my kitchen shelf. I just felt good inside and out. And I know it started with that wave.
This started me thinking about the simple gesture of a wave, not just a flippant “hello,” but a strong hard wave to those we meet and see, in all sorts of ways:
We can wave at neighbors when they go and when they come
We can wave at him when he’s leaving for work, out the window, or from the driveway
We can wave at a friend, with joy, from afar…when social distancing
We can actually wave at HIM when we wake up in the morning and retire at night
We can wave at those kids that pass by with their parents, on bicycles
We can wave at a person driving down the street, just like the little man did to me
We can NOTICE those that wave at us, not be offended if a person doesn’t wave at us, and laugh out loud for joy when the wave occurs
When is the last time we all actually looked for a person to wave to? We’ve noticed that on road trips in rural areas, people look up when we drive by their houses and wave. Some are curious who this “stranger” is in their town, but most seem to genuinely wave to welcome us, to say “We’re glad you’re here.”
That’s what a strong hard wave does. It tells the person that we are so glad they exist, that they are near, and that we are SO GLAD to see them. And if we don’t feel those three things, then it’s no wonder our wave is limp and pitiful.
Waving. Maybe it’s a lost art that needs to return, an exercise that will do a body good, and a gesture of hope for the world…