It had been a long day.
It hadn’t even been a great day.
It was just…a day. I was tired. I was cranky, and I was carrying too many bags of groceries for one human to juggle. I went to go into the elevator, and another resident held the door open for me.
I thanked her, piled in, and came face to face with a unicorn.
I mean, it wasn’t a real unicorn.
But it was a little girl, wearing a unicorn hat, and a smile that could stretch the length of The United States.
Hi! she said.
Hi, I said.
She wiggled the ears of the hat. I wasn’t sure what she was doing, but the older woman she was with (it seemed like her grandmother), told me, she’s waving at you.
Oh! Well, when a unicorn waves at you, it’s only polite that you make small talk.
I told her that she had a nice hat.
She thanked me, and then proceeded to tell me that she had a great day in school, and that she had received a new book to read.
I smiled and told her that was wonderful. I encouraged her to keep reading.
She told me she would.
The elevator ride has to be no more than a minute. But in that minute, I could feel this kid’s joy and this grandmothers pride. There were four of us in that elevator — the grandma, the granddaughter, myself, and Joy.
I left the elevator, and my mood was lifted. Suddenly I couldn’t remember what had made me so cranky. All I could remember was the joy in that elevator — the elation at simple pleasures, like unicorn hats that sparkle and move, books that have yet to be read, and the unexpected kindness of strangers.
Now, I know unicorns aren’t real. But people are capable of their own kind of magic , and if you pay attention to what’s happening all around you, you’ll be able to see it, too. Look for the unicorns the next time the day seems like it’s beating you up. They’re there, waiting to ease your tired soul, and share your laugh, and sprinkle some sparkle onto your day .