Smiles From Strangers

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Brown's Island from the bridge over to the island, taken two years ago today.  Located in Richmond, Virginia.  The photo is processed using Topaz labs Impressions.

Brown’s Island in Richmond, Virginia. The photo is processed with a colored pencil effect using Topaz Labs Impressions.

I’m always surprised when strangers smile at me, even more so when they say niceties such as “how are you today?”.

It happened again the other day.  I wasn’t feeling too good and I had a tough morning working on a sticky problem.  I went for my walk during lunch, really wrapped up in my head.  I mean, really wrapped up.  I wasn’t paying attention to who was around me, what the James River looked like, or even how nice it was to just be outside.

People kept giving me big smiles!  They wanted me to see them, acknowledge them, and smile back!  I’m usually the one giving out smiles to strangers, so it was a bit weird for me to be receiving unsolicited smiles.

It was so nice.  So very, very nice.  I straightened up my shoulders, tilted my head up from watching the ground, and got rid of the scowl on my face.  If people wanted to be nice to me, I was going to play my part and be nice back!

I came back from my walk in a much better mood and not just from the exercise.  People going out of their way to simply smile at me as they walked by made a big difference and I was grateful they smiled whether I was really receiving it or not.

It makes me glad for all the time I spend smiling at others and making chit chat with strangers.  It really does improve one’s day!

The photos in today’s post were taken three years ago today from the original bridge going over to Brown’s Island.  I’m looking to the west.  The townhouses in the upper right is an area of Richmond called Oregon Hill, where the laborers used to live.  It was so far from downtown, “you may as well have lived in Oregon”.  The cluster of buildings around the smokestack is where Tredegar Iron Works was during the Civil War.  The National Park Service is in the far building and a Civil War Museum is in the closer building.  Many events are held on Brown’s Island every year, from the Richmond Marathon last weekend to the Folk Festival, skateboarding events, and many types of concerts.

To see an earlier post for a walk around Brown’s Island, click here.  The bridge in today’s photos is fairly new.  To see the pictures from the day it was lifted into place, click here.

Brown's Island from the bridge over to the island, taken two years ago today.  Located in Richmond, Virginia.

Brown’s Island in Richmond, Virginia.  This photo was processed with a simple pop effect in Topaz Labs Adjust..