Face the World
My Road Goes Ever On
A World of Faces
How we Face the World says a lot about us. My expressions affect everyone around me, forcing a frown or bringing a smile. Without words, what am I saying today?
So I drive to a nearby town each morning to drop my middle girls at their driver’s ed class. This morning, the sun rose gloriously over fields of golden-brown corn and yellow bean plants. A low vaporous mist swirled over the valleys.
As I pass other drivers—there are not many—I glimpse a world of faces. Men, women, brothers, sisters, mothers, fathers, sons, and daughters. There is undoubtedly a grandparent or two or even a great-grandparent among the daily lot.
Faces fascinate me. Some people squint against the sun, while others make good use of sunglasses. I’ve seen people slashing the air as they drive, nodding to something I can’t see, wide-eyed, frowning, grinning, laughing, serious, reflecting. All kinds of faces, forming all kinds of expressions.
This morning, a young man passed wearing glasses. A firm chin, slicked-back hair, and a dark shirt were obvious. But what caught my attention was his grin.
A pair of doves had fluttered into flight as I turned with the curve of the road, and I knew the sun was coming up over the cornfield. I had wished I could’ve seen the birds rise into the misty air, but I didn’t dare glance back. But I did glance aside at the passing car, and I saw the view from the young man’s face as his eyes rose from the road to the sky. His smile told me all I wanted to know.
It was only a glimpse of another person’s serenity, but it helped to frame my day. I can’t help but be affected by the people around me with names I’ll never know and histories I’ll never understand. It surprises me how much a perfect stranger can alter my mood or change my mind.
Some people clutch their steering wheels and hunch forward as if they can’t get where they are going fast enough. Others rest their hands limply on the top of the steering wheel. Occasionally, someone will lift a hand in salute. Sometimes, I am the one who offers a soft wave.
Traveling along this human journey, I forget at times that I am not alone and that my actions affect everyone around me even in the simplest ways. A courteous nod to a driver waiting at a four-way stop can make the difference between a dangerous event and a humorous exchange. Turning off my music when stopping at the park and letting others enjoy the bird song makes for a more peaceful environment. Even the detail of easing the perpetual serious expression off of my face and replacing it with peaceful serenity makes for a calmer me and—perhaps—a happier world.
Our faces tell us a lot about each other. And ourselves.
A. K. Frailey is the author of 17 books, a teacher for 35 years, and a homeschooling mother of 8.
Make the most of life’s journey.
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“I loved reading Ann’s wise, hope-giving thoughts about life and love. Truly, life is the art of overcoming obstacles and becoming stronger to live a fuller life. Beautiful work!” ~Ksenia
“…bring fresh inspiration for the day on life, love, and overcoming obstacles with faith” ~CBM
“Thank you for writing such a wonderfully encouraging book.” ~Shayna
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