Wednesday, October 2, 2013

The Most Important Accessory

My children wanted to go swimming.  In Louisiana, August should mean really warm water, but since our nighttime temps were dipping into the 60's, I worried that the pool might be just a bit too cool for me.  To understand why, it's explain in I'm Blue.  Part of me wanted to brave the water, but I decided that it would be better to let the sun roast me a bit before plunging in.  Pulling weeds and trimming plants would warm me up even faster than just lying in the sun, so addition to my swim suit, I threw on my beach wrap to protect my legs from any creepy crawlies and went to work.

I was busy with my iris' when my sister-in-law came down the driveway.  She gave me a funny look and asked "Why are you pulling weeds in an evening gown?"

The laughter that bubbled up inside of me won't be forgotten soon.  Now every time I look at my little flower bed, I can picture a colorful courtyard fit for a King's Ball.

It's funny how just the idea of wearing an evening gown can inspire a feeling of confidence.  Maybe that's because most people tend to feel better when they think that they look better.  Of course, we don't have to get all dolled up to feel great.  I can be happy through and through while in a pair of comfortable jeans, a soft t-shirt and a pair of fuzzy long as I'm also wearing the most important accessory.  

If you are over 30 and from southeast Louisiana, you probably remember the words that Buckskin Bill used to close his show.  The Boylan Sisters sang it in "Annie."

"You're never fully dressed without a smile."

Sometimes it's difficult to smile, but often those are the time when we need most to do so.  Not long ago, a wonderful, brave woman told me about a difficult challenge she was facing.  It was the kind of news that brings tears, not smiles - but she smiled anyway.   That smile was like a sparkling evening gown.  Her optimism felt brighter than the Queen's jewels.

Underneath her bravery, I imagine that there must be tears, fears and pain, but for now I want to focus on the positive - for her and for everyone facing struggle.

Today I will pray.
Today I will wear a pretty pink ribbon.
Today I will give, to all those who may need it...a smile.