Just like the Emotions sing in their hit song, “Best of My Love,” it also doesn’t take much to make me happy. Or make me smile, either.
Let me tell you my story…
One day, several years ago, I noticed a stain on a favorite white shirt of mine. “It’s in the shape of a little heart,” I thought to myself. “How cool is that!”
In the summer of 2016, while looking down into a balcony planter of mine, I spotted a tiny, stone-like heart sitting atop the soil beside the brightly blooming flower. I grabbed my phone to take a photo, posted it to my Facebook page, and asked if anyone noticed anything in the image. One person responded and said that she saw a tiny heart. I told her I’d seen it too, and that it had made me smile. She said it had also made her smile.
Following that, there was a lull in random hearts entering my life, but when they started appearing, they came in all shapes, forms, and sizes. I’ve encountered hearts in leaves – including bay leaf, Romaine lettuce, and outdoor foliage; ice; a plum; rocks and stones; cooked Israeli couscous; a toasted, sliced almond; a schnitzel; remnants of a garlic peel. The list goes on and on. I’ve even ended up, literally wearing a [my] heart on my sleeve, thanks to a water stain.
I love to capture these hearts in photos and post them to Facebook. I’ve been doing so for a while now, and I think that many people find them uplifting. To be able to derive delight from discovering a heart hiding in an obscure form, then sharing a photo of it, is a way to spread a little joy.
My hearts find and burrow their way into others’ hearts. How do I know this? These “heart posts” are very popular, and my Facebook followers often send me private messages with photos of hearts that have crossed their path. Their message: “This made me think of you.”
That makes me smile every time because I’m being associated with something that is simple and beautiful, and thus simply beautiful.
Sometimes I have to rein in my enthusiasm for the hearts I want to post a photo of; I’ve been told by some people that if I post them too often, they will no longer be considered special. Or at times, I’ve been told when I’ve asked for confirmation, “I can see why you’d think so, but no, that’s stretching it a bit. It’s not really a heart.”
My “vision” for spotting hearts has expanded beyond my own hearts. There have been several occasions when friends posted images on their social media pages, and within those images, I couldn’t help but immediately spot a heart. This was within nature scenes, with a heart discovered between the branches of a tree and the sky, or within a cloud formation, or even in something as everyday as a broken eggshell. I drew my friend’s attention to the heart shape hidden within their photo – and they were surprised and delighted by this newfound knowledge.
A photographer friend who follows my social media, and has seen my posted images of hearts, asked me some time ago if I was familiar with “Find It in Everything,” a book by Drew Barrymore. When I looked up the title, I learned that the book is a collection of photographs that Drew had taken. Like me, she has an affinity for heart-shaped objects and patterns and shares that love within the book’s pages, along with brief descriptions of the images.
In her book’s preface, Drew wrote, “The way that one continuous line accomplishes the most extraordinary thing – it conveys love.” I say that a heart is made up of two equal halves – two halves that can be shared with another person.
Like Drew, and her heartfelt photos, I believe that hearts can be found everywhere and anywhere. We don’t always have to look for them; they simply find us. Or at least me!
Canadian author Charles de Lint said, “I want to touch the heart of the world and make it smile.”
Discovering hearts everywhere certainly makes me smile, and sharing my photos of them helps others do the same.