I have been to the beautiful Yu Gardens in Shanghai many times, beautiful sunny mild days, in the scorching heat of summer, the bitter cold of winter but my favourite Yu Garden moment was a chilly autumn day in 2009. It was a weekday and quite cold so not many people were around.
In one little courtyard this lady was diligently sweeping up the fallen leaves. I stopped to watch, enjoying the peace and quiet.
She would clear a patch and a gust of wind would have more golden leaves flutter to the ground.
She would patiently gather up the newly fallen leaves into her pile and continue on with her work.
After a strong gust we were showered with a scattering of leaves. We looked at each other, both shrugged our shoulders and laughed at the same time. A connection, a smile, between two people from different cultures and backgrounds. It was a lovely moment, if there were more moments like these, the world would be a better place.
She turned to continue sweeping, I rejoined my friends who had wandered off. That smile she gave to me was a gift. Smiles are part of the universal language, understood by everyone, give someone a smile today ...you may make their day :)