Small World Delights 3 & 4

For the second time in four months, I am reminded of how small the world is. The first time I was in a tearoom in London when a former colleague from St. Louis walked into the tearoom a few minutes after my host and I had been seated—mere tables from one another. Today, as I stood in line in the ladies’ room after my flight into LaGuardia, I saw a former colleague, Dr. T, walk toward the bank of sinks. I don’t know how I recognized her behind her mask. I saw her, and was certain it was her, so I called out her name. She turned, saw me, and called out mine in return! We hugged and then she told me not to lose my place in line. We wished each other well and parted ways, smiling and astonished.

I saw her again at the baggage reclaim area, and so I approached her once more. She asked about Mighty Teen and offered me a ride toward my hotel. I haven’t traveled much since long before the pandemic, so I welcomed her hospitality as an easing into the Big Apple. On the drive, we gave each other the Cliff’s Notes version of our lives since we last saw each other—family, work, and what brought me to New York City.

She and I worked together representing the American Optometric Association during my ten years employed by the association. We’ve maintained contact through holiday cards, but there is something extra delightful about reconnection in person.

PS: while Dr. T was on the phone awaiting her luggage, I looked to my right and saw former U.S. Representative Gabby Giffords being pushed down the corridor. What a day!

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I’ve spent today intermittently looking out over Times Square from our 54th floor hotel window. I expected to be overwhelmed by the city, but from this vantage point, the noise is muffled, and the lights of the flashing billboards are easier to take in. The neon signs advertise everything from banks to bakeries. The grid arranged by the streets north and south, east and west form a sense of order that feels more chaotic and energetic at street level. The cars and taxis move slow like floats in a parade. The technicolor panorama makes every day and every night feel like cause for celebrations. A different kind of small world.

3 Comments

  1. There’s always meaning in those happy “chance” encounters. They defy the randomness of our daily normative trek through life and somehow pull back the curtain of mystery to give us a glimpse of the ineffable.

  2. There’s always meaning in those happy “chance” encounters. They defy the randomness of our daily normative trek through life and somehow pull back the curtain of mystery to give us a glimpse of the ineffable.

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