It's true, you know.
Everybody goes through nasty weather at one point or another in their lives.
No one makes it through this life unscathed.
As a grocery store cashier, I spend 4 to 9 hours a day greeting folks as I ring up their items to be purchased. Some of them I have known for 20 years, others I know not by name but by what they buy each day or week.
I exchange brief pleasantries with folks from all walks of life. Young and old. Rich and poor. Working, unemployed, soon-to-be-unemployed...
In one shift I see an often dizzying emotional mixture of happy, sad, rejoicing, grieving, kind, gruff, kind, angry...
It is, as the bumpy waves in the sea of humanity tend to go, a bit of an emotional roller coaster some days.
Such a humbling reminder: it's a cold, often cruel, world out there. And I'm not the only one who has endured the frostbite.
I remember one grey day a few years back when I was teetering precariously on the hormonal limb called perimenopause, running customers through the checkout line as quickly as possible, brushing away my tears between sales...
I could not see faces, just the various tragedies that had befallen each customer at some point in their life...the loss of a loved one, a cancer diagnosis, a wayward child, financial chaos...the list was endless.
And it was oh, so overwhelming.
But that is when it also hit me, and that's what strikes me every day at work...in the face of sadness and loss, we -- the human race -- just keep on keeping on.
We keep going and striving and hoping and and smiling and laughing and looking toward a better day.
Yes, the bright light and warm strength of the human spirit still shines, burning through the inevitable -- and at times, seemingly insurmountable -- dark nights of our souls.
So why not spread that light by offering an encouraging word or a friendly smile to all we we meet along life's path?
Like the song says, "The road is long with many a winding turn..."