This morning I stood on my deck enjoying the sunshine - a welcome change to all the rainy days we've had lately. It was bright and sunny and just literally lifted my spirits. Later in the afternoon when I walked out there it was this scene that met me. Not a lot different really. I could still see blue sky, but it was pale, almost more white than blue in places. A winter sky I thought. The trees are bare and the leaves are on the ground. This lake is owned by an energy company and they always let it down in the winter to kill off any algae and to allow homeowners to do any needed repairs to the "seawall." It's awfully quiet and sort of forlorn looking - like it's forgotten or something. And the yard looks almost neglected, though it's not. Granted the little bird feeder stand has tilted in the wind, and the chairs and tables need to be washed after the rains....nothing a little time and attention won't cure. I had spent the morning at the hospital visiting patients in my volunteer chaplain job and I saw several people there that were just like this winter lake scene...a little neglected but nothing a little time and attention wouldn't fix. Some of the people at the hospital were more like the morning scene on the lake - bright and sunny and spirit lifting! A 92 year old gentleman waiting for shoulder surgery was filled with joy and laughter even as he confessed that his golden years were beginning to show a little tarnish. A 91 year old sweet, sweet lady was also waiting for surgery and showed me her poor hands - she'd spilled hot grease on them. She thought she was so lucky because her son happened to be there with her when it happened. I wonder exactly what it is that makes one person have a negative outward appearance (and I'm not talking about beauty here), and others have cheerful spirits and positive outlooks. Some of them I want to gather up and bring home with me and others I want to .... gather up and bring home with me. Except some of them I want because they would so enrich my life, and others because I want to help make their lives better. I know which kind of person I would like to be too! Is it life experiences that form us into positive or negative people? Is it our faith? Is it our families? Is it all of those - very likely. I just know that I want to capture the joy I saw in those two people today and that I saw on the lake this morning and keep it in my heart. Have you seen any people like that lately? People that make your heart smile? I hope you have.