Joy Sparkers

Wakamow Valley – Moose Jaw

I’m stopped at a traffic light waiting for it to turn green. There’s a young man—15 or 16 perhaps—on the other side of the street waiting to cross. It’s about 8:45 a.m. and he’s heading in the direction of the high school. Late, perhaps, as there are no other young people around and he’s clutching a fast food wrapper in his left hand.

I watch as a truck passes by him and he raises a hand to wave to the driver. Nice. He must know him. Then another vehicle goes through the intersection and he waves at that driver too. By the time the light turns green, I’ve watched him wave at every passing car, chuckling to himself once when a driver must have done something funny in response to the random wave.

He’s already halfway across the street when I drive past him and, sure enough, he waves at me too. I return the wave and carry on with a smile on my face, thankful for the young man who sparked joy for me and, I suspect, a few others this morning.

Later . . .

I’m in the drive-thru at my favourite coffee shop and the lineup is a long one. By the time I reach the place where I can place my order I’m second-guessing the wisdom of stopping for a caffeine-filled treat after enjoying a blissful 90-minute float.

“Will that be everything?” the faceless voice crackles through the speaker where I’ve just ordered a pumpkin spice latte and a slice of banana bread.

“Yes, thank you.”

“Okay, that’ll be $n.nn at the window. Toodles!”

Toodles? Did he just say toodles?

I love it! It makes me think of my daughter who, when she was living here with us, used to say toodles when she left for work.

When I reach the window a young woman hands me my coffee—definitely not the young man who gifted me with the joy sparker when I placed my order, but I see him in the background. He’s got that kind of youthful mischievous look about him that you’d expect to see on someone who says toodles.

I leave the drive-through with a smile on my face and pass it on to a young woman in a big, big truck who is turning into the parking lot.

It’s just that simple, isn’t it? A spark of joy both given and passed on. I still believe that’s how we start to change the world.


I’m a writer, reader, and creative. I thought by now I’d have things figured out, but I keep coming up with more questions. I think that’s okay. I’m here most mornings pondering ordinary things and the thin places where faith intersects.
  1. nice post, Linda. I find there’s some joy, however small, in every day. I just have to be open to them.

    1. I agree, Sara!

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