Walking home in New York City a few months ago, I became an unknown witness to a touching demonstration of love. It was an everyday scene — one I caught with an inadvertent glance through the window of a garden apartment — of a grandmother cleaning up after dinner, with a toddler in her pajamas standing by. But they were dancing. The grandmother with a mop, the baby on strong but unsteady legs. You didn’t need to hear the laughing or the encouragement — you could see their bond. Their obvious love for each other and shared joy momentarily stopped me in my tracks.
This past year has weighed heavily on many of us. The pandemic and other grim news can feel overwhelming, but small moments of joy that we see or feel unexpectedly — like the affectionate scene through the window — have tremendous power to lighten the load.
Ahead of Valentine’s Day, we’d love to know: When did you witness an act of love in an unexpected moment?
It could be something you saw running errands, or maybe an act of care from someone in your life you hadn’t counted on before. It could be a grand gesture between lovers, or a moment of kindness between colleagues or children in the playground. Remember love comes in all types (romantic as well as maternal, plutonic and more), and you can share a memory too from pre-pandemic times.
In 150 words or less, please share your story of seeing joy and connection in an unexpected spot using the form below. We may use your submission in a special feature in the At Home section in February.