Monday, August 23, 2021

A blessing


People-watching, on the first of four trains today: a younger couple, thirty-something, get on the carriage. She is pushing a stroller. He is carrying their daughter, who has not yet reached her second birthday. Old enough to be able to walk, but still looking more like a baby than a toddler. He holds her as he sits down, gently enough to allow her to discover how her body relates to the space of a sideways-on seat in a jolting train carriage; securely enough for her to know she is safe, will not be thrown forward through space, chin hitting floor. He runs his hand over the back of her head, baby curls, reassurance, as she moves from standing to sitting.

It is a thing of beauty to observe. As we prepare to alight at the same station, I tell him so. He tells me their daughter is almost two. I tell him mine is twenty, that it goes by faster than you can imagine. He says he hopes it gets easier. I say, it gets different; you get more sleep. That would be a blessing, he replies, with a grateful smile. It is, I say, as our paths diverge.

This stranger on the train used the word blessing, understood gratitude. No wonder it was beautiful to behold. Such awareness transforms everything.


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