Friday, August 11, 2006

Realities and Wonders

As cliché as it sounds, the world never ceases to throw surprises and situations my way to remind me of the intricate aspects of life and how complicated it can be- in different ways for all sorts of people.

On Wednesday I was on my way to the police station to sit in on an interview of a little girl that's possibly been abused. This situation always makes me nervous- trying to begin to understand what that child and her family are experiencing and curbing my own anxieties and emotions in order to fully hear and assess what is being shared on a professional level. As I walked to the station, mentally preparing for the interview and starting to feel a touch of the flu coming on, a woman stopped me. She was walking down the street behind me and was yelling something I couldn't decipher. There were other people on the street but I was directly ahead of her and she seemed to choose me out. I stopped for her, thinking I'm going to be late and I don't have time for this. She approached me and explained that she has agoraphobia and that she was feeling like she could not get to her bus stop. She became tearful and very upset, saying she had tried to call her son but couldn't reach him. I talked with her a minute and tried to calm and encourage her. She asked me to walk her to her bus stop so she could get home. She took my arm and I walked her the majority of the way until she told me she would try to make the rest on her own and could talk to people at the stop once she got there to continue to help her feel safe and calm.

Such a random intercourse with another person whom I have never met and likely will never see again left me to reflect on struggles that each individual deals with and how we cope with them. Of course, ending up very sick that evening with a high fever and being home for the last two days sick and alone has aided in the excessive thought process. I find it phenomenal the quick interactions that cross our paths in life can have such an impact, sometimes more than we realize. It accentuates for me my belief that things happen for a reason and any interaction can change a person's course. I do not think that this small interaction necessarily changed anything for me or for the woman who was struggling to make it to her stop. But, it does make me reflect on the people that do and will impact me and how I might impact the lives of others. It is something for all of us to be conscious of, that we might be able to affect positive change in other people's lives, or perhaps just a moment in that life. This goes as well with the simplest of interactions to smiling at someone you have a simple business interaction with in a shop and ensuring you tell them you hope they have a nice day to the more complex and often forgotten of telling the already stable people in our lives how much they mean to us. And, with the latest "threat" to airlines and lives, this extension of compassion becomes ever more and continuously important.

Tonight, my reality sets off to thoughts of wonder, as I looked out the living room window from the couch I have lived on the last two days and saw the most beautiful sunset in awhile. I immediately made my way outside and watched the sun disappear over the Malvern Hills, the same hills I was dancing the nights away in last weekend at the Big Chill.

The reality is this picture cannot capture the magnitude of color and beauty and the feeling of happening upon a sunset like this; and the fact that I get to see a different version of it every night if I choose to.
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