I’ve dark feelings when winter clouds are grey and miserable over Swindon. Even the dog is laconic, still wants his walks, happy to jump in the stream but cringes when I unravel the hose. The garden paths are slippery, been on a list for weeks, but I’ve no energy to hose them while it’s raining. I could go on.
Then I enter a pub or shop or café and my mood is lifted by a lovely smile, such as the server in Lidl, Greenbridge, who smiled and said “follow me” when I couldn’t find batteries; the smiler in Phone Fixers who fixed my phone and wouldn’t charge me; the Brazilian barbers in Excellent Cut who like winter; the ushers in Empire Cinema who really, really want you to have a nice day.
But the best is Emilie and colleagues in Choppers (A338 just after Burbage). Great food, reasonable prices, big smiles. On a cold, wet morning, that’s the place to be for breakfast. Here are a few stanzas from “Your Smile” which I composed there:
The open and close of a café door,
the lift of your eyes, and the soft rush
to your smile like a great big magnet pulsing
heartbeats, my adolescent blush.
I wonder what magic exudes such warmth,
replicates your smile with another’s, does for
the inconsequent, as comfortable
as removing shoes by an open door.
I searched the Impressionists for such smiles
but found few, perhaps Mona Lisa’s form
blending the edge between colours in a soft
transitional smile, but nothing of your warmth.
This is how we see ourselves and each other
when we greet: Sunshine and open doors,
dashed embargoes, opening teasers,
all of these because of your smile, and more.