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one morning, when i was around 9 or 10 years old, i noticed an older lady standing in her front door as i rode by on the school bus. sensing a feeling of loneliness, i smiled and waved. she smiled and waved back. both a friendship and a ritual, across 2 windowpanes and several feet of front lawn and pavement, commenced. every morning, she would be standing there—waiting to share a warm smile and an enthusiastic wave.

throughout the many years since this experience, there has always seemed to be one or two souls, along my routine path, who i exchange what i call the “deeper hi” with. the deeper hi is both momentary and long-lasting. it can be surrounded by a few words, but often happens without any words at all. it is a soul-to-soul whisper, a reminder that we’re all here together—that we all have a richness about us, cultivated through time and experience—that we all have stories—and that we all are a part of this one story—ours.

my current deeper hi is with a man who recently began walking with his grandchildren to school in the morning. we often cross paths somewhere along the sidewalk in front of the school. only a sincere smile and “hi” or “good morning” are exchanged, yet, during that split-second greeting, we also communicate a sense of appreciation and recognition.

noticing and acknowledging each other, even if it’s only through a small amount of eye contact or a brief nod, speaks of love for and awareness of our shared journey—a little message with big shape-shifting capabilities.
tender and powerful,
it can wave away pain.
it can soften sadness.
it can strengthen the spirit.
it can stick around,
for a really long while,
weaving its own brand of magic…
…the deeper hi.

(bella grace, autumn 2017)