If you know me personally or have read some of my earlier posts, you know that one of my favorite things is to go exploring…adventuring. I use to think that such excursions could only be accomplished by getting on a plane first, but now I actually think it’s more fun to find some hidden pleasure spot in my community. The best part of this perception shift is that I can pretend I’m on vacation or get recharged simply by visiting these nearby places.
Whenever I go exploring I encounter a lot of people. Recently, the encounters are face-to-face because my explorations are on foot in my new neighborhood. I always find it amusing that some people will look up and smile back at me and others won’t even acknowledge that I’m there. Some will speak and others will hurry by…as though they want to get away from me as quickly as possible. These latter ones always remind me of startled cockroaches scurrying to hide and it sometimes is hard for me not to burst out laughing in response.
The real delights are when I find myself invited to speak with someone I’ve never met. I don’t know how I know the invitation is there, but I do. And when I accept the invitation I meet the most incredible people.
A couple of weeks ago I met a homeless man who loves to read. We talked a lot about favorite books we’ve read and genres of note and how now he’s writing a book. We were both on our way to the library and his enthusiasm for all things literature was inspirational…quite something when talking with this particular librarian. He clearly is someone who is living in the moment…always present and welcoming each experience as it comes.
I also met a bus driver on his break. We talked about music and I discovered that he likes jazz and had been a drummer in his younger years. He recently left his job and has a temporary job as a bus driver so that he can start focusing on his creative passions again…especially his musical ones. He reminded me that slowing down and living more simply allows me time to connect with those things that really bring me joy.
Then I met a couple who was visiting from Delaware. When I heard that, my eyebrows shot up, my eyes widened and my mouth dropped open. I heard my mouth say, “I don’t think I’ve ever met anyone from Delaware!” And then I proceeded to stare at them like they were a new species of human whilst peppering them with all kinds of questions. I’m really grateful to now have something else to add to my Delaware association other than that horrid song.
Yesterday, I had two more delightful encounters. The first one was while I was waiting for the bus. An older man joined me, pulling a suitcase and carrying a backpack. He too was visiting, but from the German portion of Switzerland. I especially love that we found a way to communicate…he practiced his English with me and I practiced my German with him. We laughed a lot in the process and began our days with smiles on our faces.
The second one happened as I walked home. I love to admire all the houses in my neighborhood, each of them different and filled with landscaping gems. As I passed one house I have often admired, one of the owners was in the front yard watering her plants. She looked up at me and I smiled in return, praising her orange roses…some of my favorites. Her face lit up in response. She was so proud of her plants and fairly burst with excitement as she told me about them. I thoroughly enjoyed the opportunity to experience her passion.
I have no idea who any of these people are. We didn’t exchange names or contact information. I also have no idea why we crossed paths…why we, of all the potential connections available to us, connected with each other rather than with someone else. And that, I think, is why I enjoy these encounters…because they are so randomly intentional. And…I am always changed by them.
Thank you Universe/Divinity/Gaia for bringing such lovely surprises into my life. 🙂