I met Hutch one day in the most unusual way. As I crossed the street, he was sitting in his wheelchair on the corner, straight ahead of me. In a sea of thousands, our eyes met for just a second, and he smiled at me as if he knew me. I smiled back and nodded a quick "hello". Honestly, I don't even remember exactly what Hutch said to me after that, but it was something kind and familiar, inquiring about how I was doing. It was as if a soft warm glow just radiated off of him.
By all appearances, Hutch's life isn't an easy one. I don't know his story; I didn't ask. I just stood and spoke to him for a few minutes, as he absolutely gushed over what a beautiful day it was, what a blessing it is to be alive, and how much we have to be thankful for. He didn't have a sign or a sad story. He wasn't asking for anything in return. Just a big smile and a crowd of thousands to encourage and cheer on as they passed him by on a busy day.
I'm trying to remember Hutch and his grateful heart on the days when I don't feel very cheerful or optimistic. I think about him sitting in his chair somewhere in this city. No legs, big smile, grateful heart. Reminding me what a blessing it is to be alive.