My alarm went off this morning and I could hear the cars whizzing across the rain-slick street. The wind rustled the trees, and small spring rain droplets hit my bedroom window. The sun, tired from pushing through rain clouds, used its last bits of energy to sneak through my curtain, casting a dim golden glow across my room.

For all intents and purposes, this was the perfect excuse to stay in bed. I didn’t, and I’m glad I got up. I picked up a penny from my little box of inspiration, and it read “Smile at a stranger and mean it.”

Sure enough, as addressed as a possibility in a previous post, Bakewell was closed! It was a devastating blow to the morning I had planned. I wasn’t the only one, there was a disgruntled, somewhat overweight, haphazardly dressed, balding man pacing in front of the lowered metal gate. He was accompanied by an equally disgruntled little girl dressed in a bright purple jacket and pink leggings.

I refused to go to Starbucks, and kept walking, thinking of how I can salvage my morning. The damp coldness in the air reminded me of London in December. I wasn’t sure if I had stepped in a puddle, but my right foot suddenly felt damp. I met furrowed brow after furrowed brow of passersby who forgot their umbrellas or had not thought of investing in one.

After only a few blocks, I came upon Brooklyn Bagel, and suddenly I had the overwhelming need for a bagel. Maybe that is a New York thing. I can’t ever go too long denying my belly a big ring of bread.

As I stood there, gazing at the chalkboard contemplating what overpriced breakfast to have, my glasses fogged up and I realized how much I hate having glasses on rainy days. Suddenly I hear this little, perfect voice say “But I don’t want to go to the bagel shop!” I look toward the door to see a tall, slender woman with messy brown hair. She’s wearing rain-speckled glasses and pushing a stroller. The child in the stroller had an immense face, pale with rosy cheeks and big blue eyes. She smiled at me. That’s when I smiled at a stranger, and meant it.

I continued with my order, and received my whole wheat bagel with cream cheese and jelly, and orange juice. As I turn to leave, the tall woman with the angelic child was right behind me. I placed my hand on my chest, and said “I must say, your daughter is absolutely precious!” She thanked me and told me that I was too kind. The little girl, sat up tall in the stroller, pulled out her little hand from under the blanket on her lap, waved and said in her cherub voice: “I love your hair!”

My hair was washed yesterday, and not styled. For those who don’t know me, in this scenario, it kind of resembles Merida’s from Brave.

Those four little words, made me feel as though the sun had been shining full force all morning. She was wearing a knit hat that covered her hair completely, but by her mother’s straight hair, I imagine she had tame blonde locks under there. The perfectness of the situation made me laugh, I bowed to her and thanked her kindly. As I left and walked back to my apartment, I could not wipe the smile from my face.

You never know what could happen when you walk out ready for that smile that you feel. It may be gray and cold in New York today, but I have a sneaky feeling there will be a warm glow permeating through it all day because of one tiny little girl.