A few months ago, I told you what Houston Strong looks like. Today, I saw Houston Happy.
Houston is…hot. Most all the time. So it's unusual for it to snow in Houston. But…
It happened this morning. The ensuing celebration was heartwarming and transcended, again, the lines that sometimes divide us...
I watched an Asian man in pajamas come out of his house this morning to join his Hispanic neighbor, who was taking pictures of children hopping about in rarely-used winter coats. The children were brushing snow off the cars in the driveway with broad, arm-sweeping motions and then squatting down to make snowballs and tiny snowmen out of the piles of snow that fell.
I saw young parents in their front yards taking selfies with babies encased in hooded winter onesies -- complete with reindeer ears -- and grandparents laughing while they watched.
On the greenbelt I saw middle schoolers riding their bikes while holding their phones up high so they could film what their route looked like with snow on the tall southern pines. When I passed the local park, I saw a twenty-something with a Cairn Terrier. The Terrier was wearing a red sweater. The twenty-something was packing snow into Tupperware containers. Barefoot Running Man was still running barefoot (I could see his pink feet from a distance), but he wore a winter cap with a fat yarn ball on top to celebrate the occasion.
Local DJ Ayana Mack was SUPPOSED to be on vacation…but she came in to whoop-it-up on air with the NGEN Morning show because…well..SNOW. Listeners instagrammed their snow pictures and called in with funny stories about partners waking them up at 4:30 in the morning because
“Babe. Babe. It’s snowing.”
Houston social media went the snow route too. No politics. No debates. Just pictures of snow: Snow falling. Snow on trees. Kids in snow. Dogs in snow.
This morning Houston was happy. Houston Happy.
And I thought...
This world…it’s kinda messy right now. You hear it on the morning news. You read it incessantly on social media. You talk about it at the water cooler and in the gym. We-the-people are feeling kinda divisive these days.
And yet, embedded in the messiness there are these moments of unity, moments of laughter and celebration. Moments when we like each other and we feel kind -- and we laugh and tell stories and exchange pictures.
Like the snow,
Scientists tell us that no two snowflakes are alike. Each one is unique. But when the flakes come down and meet together – we just call it SNOW. And it makes us happy. So too with people. We are unique -- marvelously different from one another -- but when we come together, we are just US, just HUMANKIND. And when you are Houston Happy, you feel that. You feel how we can be individuals but also one.
Houston Happy makes you hopeful. Hopeful that these moments of US-ness and simple joy can occur more often. And they can, you know.
Merry Christmas. In the year to come, may you know BOTH Houston Strong and Houston Happy.