Two Small Encounters

These encounters, for reasons unknown, gave me some hope on two hopeless days.

1. Outside the bank, a lady with straight grey hair and a kind but anxious expression walked up to me.

‘Excuse me,’ she said, slightly shakily, ‘I hope you don’t think I’m mad.. but- is it Sunday or Monday today?’

‘Don’t worry, we’re all quite mad,’ I told her, ‘and, wait a minute-‘ I took out my phone just to be certain. ‘I believe.. what do I believe again? Ah, yes.. it is in fact a Thursday.’

She smiled, gratefully, and suddenly her eyes seemed to dance.

‘Oh, thank you very much!’

I sensed the gratitude in her voice, and my heart seemed to dart joyously, like a little wren hopping through dense shrub. The old lady and I looked at each other for a couple of seconds, and an inexplicable understanding passed between us. Then we parted ways- unchanged, yet slightly lighter, never to meet again.


2. Walking along the River Itchen, I saw two men studying a map, so I walked up to them hoping that I might be able to help.

‘Sorry.. excuse me, I couldn’t help but notice that you were looking at a map. Do you know where you’re going?’ I asked them.

‘Aha!’ one of the men replied, with a slight twinkle in his eye. ‘Do you mean in life, or just our route?’

‘Oh.’ I faltered, ‘Well.. I’m afraid I may not have a definitive answer for either.. but, if you tell me where you want to go, I’ll try my best to point you in the right direction.’

I grinned, and he let out a chuckle.

You see, it’s just these little things, that make a difference.

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