Today I had the accidental gift of seeing one of the most beautiful smiles I have ever seen.

She was a lovely older woman in the Maine winter uniform—boots, jeans, and padded vest.

My glimpse of her over the hood of my car was like the click of a camera’s lens.

In that shot, I saw a smile radiating happiness, peace of mind, calm, and closure—

A smile that said, “All’s right with the world.”

Its pureness stopped me in my tracks.

When my mind turns that snapshot into a video vignette, the camera zooms out to reveal this beautiful woman slowly swinging her arm,

And releasing her big black plastic garbage bag into the horrendous-smelling trash pit of our town landfill.

Once again, I am reminded of the small but life-changing blessings of ordinary days.

Marion Coleman

Marion Coleman moved to Boothbay Harbor as a year-round resident in 2017. She came from Texas, where she had a career as a sociologist at the University of Texas at Austin, a program officer at a private foundation, and a nonprofit executive director. She is “desperately trying to transition from 40 years of professional and academic writing and publishing to writing that someone might actually enjoy reading.”