“Would you like a free water?” was the question of the hour at Pier A in Hoboken this afternoon. Based on the initial reactions of the passersby, you’d have thought I inquired about their favorite candidate in the upcoming presidential election. No one knew what to make of this woman standing there in 100 degree weather with a cooler, a basket of brownies, and a homemade, neon sign an 8-year-old could have created that read “Summer of Love Project”.
After about 5 minutes of standing there, repeatedly posing the same question, one man had the courage to accept my offer. It only takes one! After that, everyone realized there was “no catch” and quickly became receptive to my question. With each water and brownie to leave my cooler, my level of love and satisfaction increased drastically. For each water and brownie distributed, I met a kindhearted stranger on his/her own journey. And for one moment, our paths crossed and we connected through a kind act and nice words. I loved conversing with mail carriers, businessmen and women taking walks on their breaks, the construction workers posted nearby, the high school kids hanging with friends, families on vacation, fellow runners, the list goes on. It was such a pleasure sharing stories with some and just putting a smile on the faces of others. I especially loved their pleasantly surprised looks when they realized everything was, in fact, free.
I restocked my water supply after only 1 hour of being stationed at the pier. On my way back from reloading the cooler at my car, I ran into a group of guys heading to the basketball courts. They were appreciative of the water and gave me the great idea to stop by the park where people would be especially thirsty. It was meant to be because on my way there, I ran into an old friend who had frequently stayed at the park near my old apartment. I hadn’t seen him in years, so we talked for a while and he loaded up on water and brownies. It felt great to catch up with him.
The remainder of my stash went very quickly once I reached the park. Basketball games were getting started and kids ran every which way screaming with excitement. The children at the playground were the cherry on top of an already amazing day. They sprinted over to me, asking tons of questions all at once. They enjoyed the food and drinks and made sure I knew they appreciated them, especially the brownies. They were incredibly gracious and full of life. Absolute sweethearts! Their energy was intoxicating. They asked if I would come back soon, so I told them I’d be back one day next week. I definitely will. I love Hoboken, the little city that holds a big place in my heart.
Today was, by far, one of the best! I’m high on happiness and love. Tonight as I lay down for bed, I remember all the new faces I encountered. I especially remember the little boy at the park who hugged me before I left and simply said, “You’re nice.” That’s all I wanted to be today. Nice.