The Rainbow Shop

When Meg’s twin sister sprained her ankle over the weekend, Meg suddenly found herself without a playmate on a beautiful Sunday afternoon in West Virginia. So this cute 7-year-old decided to sit on the front porch of the farmhouse where she lives and color — and this is what she came up with. (Click the picture to see it full size.)

She calls it The Rainbow Shop. She gives her creations away to whoever wants them. You’ll notice her sign says, “It’s Free,” as well as, “You don’t have to spend money.” Her mom told me Monday afternoon that it was Meg’s way of coming up with something to do on a day when she would have normally been running and playing with her sister, but it was also because, “I guess she thought her sister could use some cheering up, too.”

We live in a very screwed-up world. You don’t have to look very far to notice that, especially on a day such as today, when the news is full of grim reports from the explosions at the Boston Marathon.

But don’t let yourself be dragged into negativity by thinking that’s all the world is. There’s beauty, creativity and opportunity all around you, right in the midst of disaster, pain and ugliness.

On a day when there’s such a reminder that ugly things can happen unexpectedly and hurt and kill people we love, I’d like to suggest that we take a moment to appreciate the people whose lives mean something to us — the ones who make the world a better place just be being alive.

Hug and kiss whoever’s important to you, if you can. Remember that life is fragile. And remember that you can choose to hand out free smiles and rainbows to others if you’d like.