At first I thought it was my imagination or that I was projecting, but no, the smiles on the faces of the "Walkers" were a little bit brighter after the election. The "Walkers" are an important part of the community of the Arboretum. This is a great place to walk and many people take advantage of it. Most of our walkers are local so the vast majority are African-Americans. Some walk every day, some a few times a week, and many less frequently. After working here a while you begin to recognize individuals and their schedules. Good weather, of course, brings out larger numbers, but even on the worst cold. wet, windy days there are a few intrepid souls. We nod, or smile, or wave, or sometimes stop and talk. It is one of the bonuses of working here.
I wasn't in on Wednesday but Thursday I began to notice that smiles were wider and more engaging. At first I took it to be a reflection of the seasonably warm weather and the peaking fall foliage, but then I wondered. I am a large rough-looking? man and doubt that my political persuasion is readable from my physiognomy. I don't want to write about race but if I were an African-American I might wonder how white people really felt about the election. The amount of information that can be communicated quickly by facial expressions is amazing. Conspiratorial is not really the word I'm looking for, but they smiled, I smiled back and something was communicated and we were all a bit happier. I'm sure all the problems of the country won't go away, but it has been a nice few days!