The most amazing thing about life is that it goes on. When I read the news about yet another terror attack, an act of violence, an atrocity committed by humans against humans for whatever “valid” reason, I feel the beginnings of despair. How do we go on? Can we feel calm; can we even be sure that it is a safe world for our children? No, of course not. I think the world was never actually safe. Today, when people move around a lot, when the whole wide world can see the news almost before they happen, it seems even more unsafe than ever. And yet, amazingly, Life goes on. Those of us who are engaged in some useful activity have to get up every morning, make breakfast, take care of the family, and go to work. There are innumerable occupations which benefit humanity at large and individuals “at small”. Doctors, teachers, transportation workers, shop clerks, sanitation workers, caregivers perform their daily tasks regardless of the weather, the season or the time of day. Fire fighters rush to a fire, policemen dash to a crime scene. And all of us just go on about our life.

The news do leave one distracted, sad and generally in low spirits. I was trying to walk it off the other day in an effort to overcome a writing block which resulted from all the doom and gloom. Here is a funny recipe for shaking oneself out of any bad mood, which as they say is good for women only: if Life is too much, take soap, rope and start your general laundry, spring cleaning, a complete overhaul. So I went out to run several errands, and it was one of those uncertain days which make one think, “April is the cruelest month”, even though April is still a few days around the corner. Spring is definitely coming, in that peculiar rhythm: one day is all sunny and mild; another day is all chilly and windy. It is slippery underfoot, so a brisk walk is out of the question. Trying to find a better footing I found myself looking at a new shop, so on a whim I stepped inside, to be greeted with a nice display of fruits and veggies both canned and fresh. While my eye was roving from top to bottom as is its custom, the young woman behind the counter greeted me pleasantly and asked what I wanted. I was stumped and mumbled back, “I would like… something…” And I floundered. She gave me a brilliant smile and said cheerfully, “You are in luck! We have just received a new shipment. Look, it’s so nice and only $5 per box, ten in each box, quite a steal!” I dutifully looked – and bought that “something”. The bright splash of color considerably changed the grey day. The smell, the taste were wonderful which as we know does not always happen. Things may look very nice indeed and taste like ashes or like nothing at all. Of course the nice smile, the friendly exchange of mundane remarks helped raise the mood. Sometimes all it takes is a friendly smile and a little “something”.


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