I took a much needed long walk around my local pond not too long ago. I had begun that day sulking about not knowing what my particular path in life was (typical 20-year-old bullshit). My plan for the day at that point had been to eat and sit on my ass. Seeing me like this, my mom urged me to go for a walk around the pond, to clear my head. I agreed that a change of surroundings would be beneficial. Thus I began my walk on a secluded path entirely surrounded by trees and looked up at the branches above me. I listened to the sound of the nature living around me, singing and breathing. It was beautiful. I felt my tension vanish.
While strolling along my favorite bridge, admiring the scenery, a petite older woman about to walk past exclaimed “I’m having the most beautiful day. What a beautiful day!”I assumed she was speaking to me so I responded “Yes. It’s lovely isn’t?”. Just like that, the two of us began to chat like old friends.
She explained that walking helped her feel more active and that it cleared her head. I told her I was walking for some piece of mind as well. She looked up at me for a long moment and with dewey eyes told me that I resembled her daughter. This woman missed her daughter terribly but, because of an old argument, had no way of reaching her. She had also lost her husband years ago. Simply put, she was alone.
I felt her pain and wanted to aid her in some way. My advice to her was to travel. We talked of places she had never seen and adventures awaiting. I explained that traveling could be like starting a new chapter in her life and her face lit up. This woman was seventy-two by the way. Her soul seemed much younger. There was a moment we shared in which, discussing her daughters, she began to cry. “You’re so beautiful,” she said to me over and over. “Just like my daughter. So true and kind” she said. We exchanged hugs and parted ways but not before the woman thanked me for being her “daughter”.
I’m not accustom to speaking so freely with strangers but this moment was different. I trusted my instincts. This woman even invited me to dinner, which was strange but also not at all. We, as people, are so quick to assume that others have negative intentions. Why can’t we see the the good in people as easily as we see the bad? It might be cliche of me to admit this but I feel like this interaction was a sign. I honestly believe that we can attract particular events or people into our lives based on what we think.
When this woman came into my life, even for that just that brief moment, I was pondering my place in the world and my loneliness. Upon thinking this I ended up having a long conversation with a woman about her own experience with aloneness. It was a wake up call. I was forced to step out of myself in order to feel what she was feeling. I understood her and cared for her because we were one in the same; two momentarily lonely people, needing to connect with someone. That’s what we’re all searching for though, isn’t it? – Human connection. Funny how a “stranger” fulfilled that feeling of unity for me so easily that day.