A pocket full of encouragement

My friend Jill arrived for our weekend walk armed with a pocket full of encouragement.

“I brought sidewalk chalk,” she said and she handed me a couple of pieces.

Then, we took off on our regular route, stopping every now and then to leave a heart or a positve message on the electric poles and pavement below.

The wind whipped around us, and it felt good to leave a little trail of warm thoughts behind. We drew words and symbols for anyone who might need them, little breadcrumbs of humanity to lead their hearts home.

We especially wanted to show some support for students as they head into a traditionally challenging time of year that has become exponentially more so in the wake of this global pandemic. I don’t think they can hear enough that they are not alone, that everyone experiences some anxiety as they approach transitions in life and, that if those feelings seem overwhelming, then it is time to seek help.

Mostly, though, we want them to know they matter, that we value their opinions and we enjoy the splendid uniqueness of each personality.

I have terrible penmanship, but I can draw a passable heart. I’m looking forward to sidewalk chalk season, when people young, old and far more artistically talented than I decorated walkways with their creative good cheer.

Until then, I’m going to continue Jill’s kind idea of writing simple messages wherever I think they might be needed.

You matter.

You are beautiful.

We care.

Jill drew this purple heart on a telephone pole outside Kaleidoscope Academy.
We left this note on the Lawrence University campus.
You are beautiful.
You are loved.
There is hope in this old world.
Life is good! Not perfect, sometimes really difficult, but ultimately very good!
You matter!
Now, go get this day!

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