A Wave Towards the Lovely Man, Sat in his Garden at the Bottom of the Hill
Updated: Aug 9
From a young age, I have always sat down to watch Royal events on TV. Every time, it is without fail, that I notice Her Royal Majesty's wave and mention it to my mum.
"Why doesn't she wave properly mum?"I would always ask.
To only answer me, "I bet it is because she gets tired. Since she has to wave to so many people, there is no way she could wave as much as she does and do it like you and I do, mum!!"
10 years later and I am sat reflecting on my self-professed answer.
I have just got home from a cycle ride.
During this pandemic, it has been crucial to get out of the house and keep moving as much as possible - to help both my mind from going numb, and my bum too. I have been cycling or going for a walk almost every day, and I love it!
On my cycle ride, I always go down the same street, because it has a nice downhill section (which my legs are very grateful for). At the bottom of this slight hill is a house with a beautiful front yard.
(Side note, I have noticed that Americans are much better attending to their front lawns, flowers, and plants compared to Brits...)
Every time I cycle past this front year I marvel at the home owner's vibrant colored flowers, and luscious green foliage. It always catches my eye.
When you're missing home, little things often bring you back to moments that make you think of your loved ones. This garden is one of them. With respect to the hard work I know my parents put into our small back yard in London, I was eager to show respect and acknowledge the individual who's handy work this beautiful Chapel Hill front yard was...
(From the age of one my dad had my sister and me on bikes, so I have mastered the one-handed-no-look cycling skill. One day it served me well...)
As I began my routine descent down the hill I spotted an elderly man sat in a chair looking out, as if plotting his next move, over his infamous front yard. I knew this was my chance to do as my mother taught me and pay respect where it is due. So, when I got to the bottom of the hill I picked up one hand from my handles and threw it into the air - I joyously waved in the direction of the man sat in his chair.
Our eyes locked - he responded with shock - I think he was slightly taken aback by my exaggerated wave because didn't wave back. I continued cycling, ignoring the fact I just got blanked...
The next day, I took the same route. The man was out tending to his flowers again. Forgetting slightly that he had ignored me last time, I waved again but in a much less enthusiastic fashion. This time though. He waved back!!! And it was accompanied by a massive smile!
Now, I don't know about you but for me when a total stranger waves back something inside me just lights up. My heart becomes full of joy. And adrenaline shoots through me.
A wave is a little thing.
I make sure to go for a cycle at the same time (almost) every day because I know I will get a big wave and a smile back from the lovely man, sat in his garden at the bottom of the hill.
A little wave connection seems to have a big impact on my mood. It fills me with appreciation - for others and life! I finish the cycle back to my house wondering if it brings him the same joy... I hope it does.
From the slight twist of the wrist, that the Queen has claimed with such decorum and class, to the energetic movement of your arm, when you try to get someone's attention. A wave carries a thousand feelings.
(I never did find out why the Queen waves the way she does.)
Maybe if the Queen knew about the little things that can have a not so little impact, she would put a bit more effort into her wave? I know a 10-year-old Lotte who would've appreciated it.
A wave is a not so little thing.