It must have been late January or early February a few years ago. I was on my way back from a morning walk on the Haul Road, a community walking path that skirts the ocean, when I ran into my good friends, Kate and Lars. We stopped for a moment to catch up, and I must have mentioned seeing a piece of driftwood along the trail that I wished I’d picked up.

A few days later I stopped by their house for a few minutes. Kate excused herself and returned with an oddly shaped gift, wrapped in red tissue paper.  “Happy Valentine’s Day,” she and Lars shouted. I recognized the driftwood before I tore off the wrapping. Lars had found the wood and dragged it back to their car. Kate wrapped it, but I never found out whose idea it had been to make it a gift. I was touched.

The driftwood now lives in my garden by my front door. I see it every time I come and go, and it always brings a smile to my face. When I went to collect my mail a few minutes ago, I noticed it, and it reminded me of a suggestion from an art teacher.

She promoted creating little works of art outside for others to find and enjoy. So on my way back from my mailbox I stopped to fashion a small heart out of rocks from the gravel that covers our dirt road. I laid it in a grassy spot that gets more paw traffic than foot traffic, but I know it’s there, and maybe someone will walk by, see it and smile.