a pinch of encouragement, a dash of inspiration, and a sprinkle of hope.

Almost every morning I leave the apartment for class at 8:30. Recently, I’ve tried to rouse myself out of bed and leave ten minutes earlier. Why, you ask? Because I have become
inspired.

If I leave my house at just the right time, I have the privilege of seeing one of the most magical moments. Every weekday around 8:35, a man, about 50 years old crosses the bridge. He is grandfatherly, but still young spirited, with a short graying beard, light steps, and cute black rimmed glasses. Unlike many here in Spain, this man walks with a smile, which was what first caught my attention. But that is just the beginning of my magical moments.

The sunrise is much later here than at home. So at 8:35, the sun has just stretched over the buildings in Sevilla. Most people are briskly walking, heads down, rushing to their already busy days, but not this man. Every morning, he walks about halfway across the bridge and then stops.. He turns and takes in the beauty of the sun over the buildings, the clouds reflecting in the water, and the skyline that I’m sure he’s seen for years. But then comes my favorite part.
He smiles, pats his heart, and keeps walking.

This whole ordeal only takes about 10 seconds, and others may not understand, but that man has become such an inspiration for me. Taking the time every morning to be thankful for another sunrise, stopping and making up his mind that today is another beautiful day, and although he doesn’t know it, he is reminding everyone else to do the same. He has taught me that I have to take the time every day (often times more than once a day) to remind myself that this is a beautiful life I’m living, that I have the opportunity to see, and do, and be something beautiful.

Today, was the first rainfall in Sevilla. It was damp, dreary, and overcast. Like every other morning I tried to leave a little early to see “my magic moment”, but I started worrying the closer I got to the bridge. Because of the clouds and the rain, the sky wasn’t very beautiful, you couldn’t see the sun at all, and the water looked sinkingly green and grey. I saw him walking from the other side of the bridge, so easy to pick out his happy stride from the herd. What would the old man do when he turned to see the disappointing view? I’m glad you asked.

He turned.
And looked.
And looked some more.
Searching the skies for about twice as long as usual.
Then he smiled, patted his heart, and continued walking.

At first I didn’t know what to think of this moment. Was he disappointed by the view? Why did he stare for so long? What exactly was he thinking? Of course, I can’t read his mind, but this is what the old man taught me today.

When you turn and you find yourself surrounded by dreary sky, when the view isn’t as inspiring as it was yesterday or the week before, when the clouds and the road look dark ahead, keep looking. When things seem ugly, keep searching for the beauty in your skyline. It might take you a little longer, or much longer, but there is beauty to be found in any and every situation. Even if it’s just that tomorrow’s forecast calls for sunshine. How beautiful that we have tomorrow to look forward to.

So smile because you’re able,
 pat your heart ’cause you’re still breathing,
and keep walking forward. Image

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