I didn’t have an answer. I never know when the next encounter will be.
So I told him with a bit of regret: “I’ve been spending my days at work and at home with my kids. Rushing from home to work and back. Not really something to write about. Life will pick up again after the girls’ summer vacation.”
It wasn’t enough of an answer for him: “Why don’t you write about the gardener?” …
I smiled. “The gardener took up not even a whole minute of my time. What’s there to write about?”
In my heart I know why I didn’t write about it, but I don’t want to get into that right now. That will make for another story about an encounter with myself.
The conversation got me thinking though. My friend is right. It’s not really the amount of time that an encounter lasts that makes it to be a meaningless or meaningful encounter.
Let me laugh at myself a bit while I realize how wrong I sometimes am and how good it feels to openly admit that.
So here comes the encounter with the gardener. It was Monday morning. He was mowing the lawn at a park near my work when I walked by. He was wearing ear protection and a mask to filter the air he was breathing. Add to that the noise of the lawn mower and you know that he clearly was in no position to talk. He looked at me and his eyes, the only visible part of his face, lit up. He let go of the mower and started making gestures to show me how much he appreciated me, the walking by, the moment…
I don’t know exactly what he appreciated and it doesn’t even really matter. What I do know is that he made me laugh and laughing before work on a Monday morning is a hell of a wonderful way to start a new week in my book.
As short as the encounter was it brought JOY to me in that moment and I guess that’s what gives an encounter meaning. And so the gardener gets his story afterall.