Years ago when we lived in Seattle, I remember vividly one of the things I didn’t like about it there. The people never felt warm or welcoming. They seemed cold and I appreciated (and missed) “Minnesota Nice” when we were there.
After we moved back, I would go out there in the summer and visit friends during one of Chuck’s work trips. Each time I was there, I would get up early (the time change made me wide awake at the crack of dawn) and go on a long run or hours-long walk and then head over to Chuck’s office to say hello - and usually get a treat. While I was visiting (somehow usually on one of their most gorgeous weeks they had all summer) I would wonder why we left. It was so beautiful…the weather, the scenery and (gasp) the people!
It turns out that I found the people I never found (and desperately needed) when I lived there while I was on vacation. My people. They were the runners and the walkers who were up early enjoying the first glimpses of the day. They were cheery, smiling, happy and even willing to strike up quick conversations. Turns out, I was just too stuck inside with little kids that I never saw or found these people.
Fast forward to a year of seclusion, COVID and moving again to a new town. I knew very few people here, but when I am out for a run or walk, I find my people again. They say hello, wave, smile, or chat for a moment if you are stopped at the same place. They make me feel seen when I sometimes feel like I am invisible. Their little smiles and hellos make me so happy I got out and got some fresh air and didn’t stay on the couch overthinking something.
So if you get a chance on a run or a walk - smile at someone, say hello, wave and let them know they are seen. They may not apprecaite it like I do, but you also just might touch someone in a positive way that day by your seemingly small gesture.