I first noticed the chalk board as I made my way home from a long and sweaty walk one summer day.
Perched on a fence in front of one of our neighborhood’s loveliest gardens, it said, “Kind words can be easy to speak but their echoes are truly endless.”
I just loved that someone had been thoughtful enough to post a message like that for the world at large.
A few weeks later, I walked past the house again and noticed that the message had changed.
“Everyone you meet deserves to be greeted with a smile.”
From then on, wherever I walked, I made sure to circle past that house to read the messages posted there. Occasionally, I snapped a quick photo and, following that pitstop, I always finished my walk with a lighter step.
It felt good to see someone care enough to share a little love with the world, and to do it in a manner both simple and profound. Just a little colored chalk on a chalkboard and some earnest urging for civility and grace.
Yesterday, I biked over and met the artist, a friendly and talented gardener named Jean. She took me on a tour of her garden and it was exactly as I had hoped.
“See that tree over there?” she said. “It was dying, but I grew some vines over it and now you’d never know. You can grow things in the unlikeliest places.”
She and her next-door neighbor shared the common space between their two houses and worked together to turn it into something beautiful.
“We made a little bistro that we could enjoy together,” Jean said.
She let another neighbor pick out yesterday’s quote and the little girl added a sweet drawing of two friends to her choice. It read, “Make the most of every moment. It never come again.”