Life can be random and throw up some really surprising encounters.
Yesterday, in a supermarket is a case in point. My wife and I made an unscheduled visit to a local store. At some stage we were looking at products in a dump bin, when a woman, who was nearby, began looking at similar items. This led to a friendly exchange, the result of which was, her asking if my wife was related to someone she knew. This woman vaguely recognised her from her past. I looked at her and vaguely recognised her face. Then I said to her, I know you, what’s your name, what were you called before. She said who she was. Yes, I said who I was, yes, and that is how, by accident, I met and began speaking to a girl I knew when we were both at school. In fact I should say schools, because we first met in the infants school which was part of our church. This would be some time in 1960/61. We would have been five years old at that time. In 1963 I was moved across town to another school and we lost contact until 1967. That here was when we both went up to Secondary school at 11 years old. I left that stage of my education in April 1972 and can’t recollect her being around during this time. Some left school after the 4th year, some of us stayed on. Now fast forward to December 2018 and a place about 8 miles from our home town, and we had this chance meeting.
This in itself is unremarkable, I know. However I have deep rooted memories of really early events in my life. I have them at my core. I carry them within, as treasure.
So during this brief time, in a busy isle of a supermarket, there was a connection to the past being made. This for me, was enriching. The conversation was warm and reafirmimg, in that here, was someone from my early life, who, please however remotely, carried the experiences of that time, through to the present.
The recollections include a time when in my early working life, that she made mention of my time in retail. This was someone in 1975. She also recalled an earlier encore with my wife, yet to be, from that period too.
We were able to exchange those shared times, and recollections of people, who I have long since lost physical contact with.
Those few minutes to me were valuable. I am so pleased to have met up with her, and the encounter has been in some way enriching.
She is just as friendly as I remember, and my wife, has also said she was nice and likeable.
The point here is simple, I am individual who is very conscious of the passage of time. And as life, most times seems to be, about looking at life through the rear view mirror, it is important to find some sense of worth to it all. Perhaps that is what I spend my time worrying about. I have written in and of worry all my life. Of late I find there is a proportion of the writing that is about what I must recall. By looking through the rear view mirror I found a baring to steer by. This chance meeting in some way had a reinforcing aspect which I found to be ever so slightly comforting. I think the past holds a reality when you are somehow able to cross reference with people who by whatever degree have shared that experience.
The passing of time renders memory timeless in a distorted Einsteinian kind of way. For the most part, life experiences are records held of the self, by the self. They are two dimensional, then and or to now. Am becomes An, only if a third dimension of us is added. Here is the importance of an “early peer” transition to “contempory peer”, conversational exchange of common recollections. In clearer terms, if at thevery least both of you have been there and done that and can agree on it.
(c) 2018 Christopher Thompson
December 2018 Cannock Staffordshire.