31 July 2013.
I met him today, while I was out for my evening walk. Sweating and panting, I climbed the hill…my eyes focused on finding my path through the overgrown grass rather than look up ahead. Usually this part of the woods doesn’t have much traffic so I didn’t really bother. Until my eyes suddenly stopped at a pair of boots. I looked up with a start, straight into his eyes. My sudden surprise found reflection in his smile.
And in that spontaneous smile, I lost myself…
The first time I saw him was a few weeks ago. I got distracted from my game of badminton as he walked past. He walked away and without realizing it, took my heart with him as well. From the corner of my eye, I kept sneaking glances at him and I got my reward a few moments later when he raised his hand in a wave.
Then on, we crossed paths each evening.
Once or twice, I saw him walk over to where I played. His awkward walk, his eyes focused straight ahead…it was as though he had a resolve in mind. But courage failed him and just as he got close enough, I saw him turn around and walk back with just the parting smile. A few times he stood by, watching us play; following the shuttlecock with his gaze and smiling to himself.
And I was left wondering what went on in that mind then…
True to England’s nature, the rain poured down after a wonderful spell of sunshine. Evenings were now spent inside, playing cards or watching the rain cool the parched ground. His face eventually crossed my mind but I had no way of getting in touch. I know neither his name nor his language. Days passed, eventually a week went by without seeing him around. I convinced myself he must have forgotten me by now; it was after all, a matter of habit than acquaintance.
And then today, all of a sudden, we came face-to-face. He stopped, he smiled, he waved and he spoke.
‘He’ is 2 years old and I know neither his name nor his language.
But the smile connects us, the spark of recognition unites us 🙂