I saw him today!
I haven’t seen him for awhile. But I saw him today.
In that same seat on the bus, where I have seen him for the past 17 years.
The man with the mustache.
He looked a little older, a little tired perhaps, but the same really.
In a world filled with so many changes, I find it comforting when I see him,
like an old shoe that is always there some place under the bed,
and reappears from time to time.
Over the years, I have wondered about him, who he is,
where he gets off the bus, what his name is, and what his life is like.
Not once, in all those years, have we spoken or even acknowledged one another,
and yet every time I see him, I wonder about his life.
I wonder in the last 17 years, if he has……….fallen in or out of love.
I wonder if he wakes up at four o’clock in the morning, thinking about life.
I wonder if he has children, if he lives alone, what he likes on his pizza,
what he takes in his coffee, what his dreams are.
I wonder if the years have been kind to him, or if they have taken their toll.
He has a serious, chiseled kind of face,
which makes me think he must do a serious, kind of work,
not an artist or a painter, but an engineer or a geologist.
He looks like a person who analyzes a lot, and sits in meaningful contemplation.
I wonder how I would feel if he moved away, and I didn’t see him on the bus anymore. I’m sure I would, after a time, wonder what happened to him,
what turn in the road his life has taken.
It’s funny, even though we’ve never met or spoken in all these years,
he makes me feel a little less alone somehow, just by being there.
I feel touched by him. In a way, our souls have met.
For a few moments, we’ve shared time and space,
travelled down the same road, however short, on our way to somewhere.
Isn’t that all we do with people anyway,
for a short while, travel down the same road,
share time and space, on our way to somewhere?
The world is full of people, who make us feel less alone.
I wonder if they know it?
The stranger on the bus, the girl who cuts your hair,
the fellow who takes your order at your favorite restaurant, the cashier at the grocery store.
We all have something in common, we’re all in this together.
And yet, so often, we place such little importance on these events,
sometimes even walking around in a daze, oblivious to all of it,
on our way to somewhere else, waiting for the bigger moments in life,
you know, the ones that really matter.
And yet, these bigger moments are so few, and last for such a little while.
Perhaps if we thought of these simple times as flowers, and instead of
a huge bouquet every once in a while, we picked a daisy here,
a lily there, a rose somewhere else.
At the end of the day or week, we could look at the arrangement
we’ve created, just by being present, and savor the sweetness,
smell the fragrance and water the memories.
Then, at the end of our life, if we’re really lucky …
we might have an entire garden, to take with us into eternity.
Copyright © 1993 by Veronica M. Hay