Yesterday, I sat at an outdoor restaurant and spent an hour observing the flow of activity happening around me. It was a busy lunch hour, powered by the hustle and bustle of Uruguayan people moving through the streets. It was beautiful.

Finishing my lunch, I heard an explosive burst of laughter coming from a child. Looking to my right, I noticed a small boy holding his stomach with laughter. He carried pasta in his hands and he was feeding pigeons small pieces. As they came to eat the food, he couldn’t contain the joy this simple experience provided, bursting with laughter every time a piece was eaten.

Immediately, I began laughing as well. It was his sheer jubilation that ignited this joy. As he fed the pigeons, he heard my laughter and realized he had an observer. Without skipping a beat, he continued to feed the birds and share this experience with me.

As a child, I fed the pigeons when my family fed the ducks. I once heard somebody call them “rats with wings” – but even rats enjoy a fine meal.*

This is a dark hour for our country. Every time I read the news, I am horrified to see a nation that is building walls, taking active measures to destroy our environment, and destroy long-lasting relationships with the nations. It hurt me to hear a once-close family member deny the truths behind global warming. “There aren’t enough facts.” she said.

My heart has never felt heavier as I see a dividing line between those who believe lies and those who seek truth – and do the work to discover it.

Yet, even in this dark time, I was reminded to not let the news extinguish my joy. A small child reminded me that joy is contagious to those nearby, should they choose to open their heart to its light.

This is the most critical time to protect your joy and treasure your heart. This is a time to open your heart to others and pour it out like a bucket of water on a world that is catching on fire. The bucket will never empty, no matter how much you pour.

I may not know you as you read this. But I would like you to know that I love you. I do.

Even the most vile enemy needs to know love extends to them – while not condoning, or standing idle against their actions.

Remember the birds and the children when you shed tears for our world. Let the love inside of you continue to build bridges, instead of walls. Flowers can crack pavement. All it takes is a seed.


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