An explodesion of happiness

The British are a famously reserved people, renowned for not interacting with strangers - except for polite comments about our equally famous variable weather. Even those of us who are extroverts somehow absorb the notion that we need to be careful about striking up conversations in queues or on public transport - though when we do, it's invariably a friendly, enjoyable, rewarding interaction.

But would even the most gregarious among us go as far as this little girl? Her school got the children to March a Mile for charity, and to do so walking - and talking - with someone they don't usually spend time with. They then reflected on this, writing up their thoughts. An extract from hers was shared on Twitter: she had opted to walk with Evie, and enjoyed this so much that she wrote An explodesion of happiness went into me because I don't normally talk to Evie.

An explodesion of happiness... what a lovely way to describe her joy and surprise arising from talking to someone new... and how lovely to be able to feel this way about such an encounter. It makes me think of those precious moments when I have seen an old, cherished friend after a long absence; or, indeed, the discovery that a new acquaintance is on the same wavelength about the things that matter deeply to me. Then there are those rare times when something like an explosion of God suffuses me while I am sitting in stillness or prayer, or when my heart is lifted by something magical or unexpected. Whether it's a sudden rainbow, or a kingfisher in flight... raindrops bejewelled by a burst of rain, or  spiders' webs glittering with hoarfrost... there is a burst of something rather special, enlivening tiredness or flagging spirits.

What, too, of the happiness caused by kindness, generosity and love, whether we are recipients, givers or simply observers, inspired and uplifted? Call it an explosion or an outburst, a spate or a surge, there is happiness to be found in the commonplace as much as in the extraordinary, even in the midst of so much gloom and instability. Maybe, who knows, we might even experience such joy by opting to talk to a stranger, or someone new...?