I walked up to Madison’s City Square, to meet a friend. It was early spring, early Sunday. I’d been under the weather lately, but couldn’t put my finger on why. I sighed, resigning myself to the cold mundaneness of day to day life.
Walking with my head down, I sensed a large person coming toward me. Out of my peripheral vision, I could see he was huge. I avoided looking directly at him, but glanced around to see if there were any people outside who could come to my aid, if I needed it.
The streets were empty. Early Sunday mornings are not known for their pedestrian traffic or outside activities. It was one of the reasons I was out walking. Regret wormed its way through my gut. I could cross the street. How rude would that be? Besides, there was no way I would outrun such a big guy.
I pursed my lips and pressed on, not making eye contact. When I was within a few feet from him, I glanced up. He was big, but beautiful. My two second glimpse of him captured a smile that shot through me, casting light into all my dark places!
Dazed, I dropped my eyes. His smile, erasing any memory I had of what he looked like, carried a message of hope to my heart that warmed every element of my being. Though at the time, I could not have put that into words.
As soon as he was past me, I turned my head to try and recapture his image. I wanted to remember.
There was no one there.
I stopped and turned around, searching everywhere. The only movement was the gentle breeze, moving new leaves.
Forty years later, I can finally put my experience into words. When I feel the cold mundaneness of life closing in, that smile still warms me.
Have you ever had a brief, but close encounter that is unforgettable?