over the past several months, our youngest child, evan, has developed a special friendship with a beautiful soul who works at our local whole foods store. she frequents many of our household conversations. though we all know her name; most-oft, we simply refer to her as ‘evan’s girl.’ he lights up when he sees her. they almost always exchange a hug.

last weekend, she told evan that she will soon be moving to another state. the ‘nutshell’ version of what i gathered from him during our conversation after we left the store was that he felt sad, but also happy for the change in her life…and happy that he had met her.

it suddenly felt like the most important thing in the world to tell her how beautiful she is and how much we appreciate, and have appreciated, her presence—so we wrote little love letters– all of us– and evan and i delivered them to her this morning.

the experience brought to my mind the many moments in my life during which i’ve wanted to let someone, regardless of how long or how well i felt i knew them, know how special they are and decided against it only because it felt socially awkward. i’ve grown to  dislike the way many of us are conditioned to keep so much under wraps. just as much, i’ve really grown to treasure the way young children are so open and enthusiastic in their loving expressions for and around others.

being noticed and, further, genuinely appreciated is important– to and for us all.

i encourage each of us, in general, to live and love in a way that enhances our own lives and the lives of each soul we meet. likewise, i encourage us to really take the time to notice the other souls present amidst the often hurried rhythms of our daily routes and routines…and to treat them as extensions of ourselves– making the effort to let those who affect us in a positive way, regardless of how much, know that they are recognized, loved and appreciated for the beauty that they bring through to this planet.

love and appreciation births love and appreciation– the cycle goes…and grows.