Thursday, 1 December 2011
A Chance Encounter
I was wandering aimlessly around the garden centre when she stopped me.We were ambling past bright racks of decorations and John was examining the colourful bird boxes, and suddenly a kind voice behind me said: "Excuse me, are you Helen?"
I looked around, my "yes" full of shyness and suspicion, and saw a lady smiling at me with the openness of recognition.
"I read your blog!" she said warmly, "I knew I recognised your little boy!"
And there on an ordinary Tuesday, I met somebody who knew me. Somebody whose face I'd never seen before and yet who knew me better than the friends I'd met that morning. I flushed and stammered as I tried to come to terms with my online retreat colliding with my everyday reality, and then I began to smile.
Because even though I write this blog purely for myself, and even though I've shied away from telling friends and family about its existence, I was so grateful for that smile of recognition. So grateful to know that my words were read and remembered, that my thoughts made others pause and remember; that my time spent here in this space is in some small way worthwhile.
So to the lovely lady who stopped me to say hello, I'd like to say thank you. Thank you for your kindness, thank you for your encouragement. Thank you for reading and thank you for being there in that garden centre on Tuesday.
And if anyone else should happen to see John and I walking aimlessly around a garden centre, please do stop and say hello. It will send me into a joyous spiral of surprise, it will make me think again about angels and it will make me smile for the rest of the day.