Every weekday morning I walk my twelve year old daughter down the road to catch the school bus. I really enjoy the time with her (as long as we haven't left too late and are hurried) as we can have some interesting conversations on the way. I also enjoy the interactions with the people we tend to meet every day.
Standing at the bus stop at the same time every morning means that you often see the same vehicles passing. You get to know some of them. It gets to the point where the more friendly drivers will wave as they go past.
The biker doesn't wave, but he smiles. He rides a really big motorbike, one with panniers at the side to make it even burlier. The bike is black as liquorice and its engine sounds like the purr of a cream sated tiger. Over the top of this morning rumble can clearly be heard the sound of the biker's chosen music. Not heavy metal, or rock or rap; this biker listens to mellow jazz and big band swing as he rides to work every day. You can hear the happy sound coming down the street. It makes us smile at him and he smiles back at us; it's a point of connection.
Then there's the small child in her ridiculously oversized school blazer (bought to have lots of room to grow into); we meet at the crossing on my way back. A very smartly dressed older lady with immaculate silver hair catches one particular bus into Cambridge where she works for the university. We often stop for a chat while she waits for her bus.
Another girl in a stripy purple blazer, always accompanied by mum or dad, got a puppy at Christmas. I have no idea of the names of any of the humans, but the little Westie is Lily, and she recognises me now and always wants to say hello. Oh, and there's Jack at the next bus stop, nearest our house; we go to the same church and so that's another "hello, how are you, lovely day isn't it?"
So the morning walk to the bus stop and back is punctuated by small points of human contact. If I don't see any of them for a couple of days I miss them. When I was ill for a week recently and my husband did the bus stop walk, he was asked where I was. If we don't get our morning snippet of jazz it's a loss to the day.
None of these points of contact are very profound, I know none of these people intimately, but they make my day brighter.
I like to think that I make their day brighter too. And that's what it's all about really, isn't it?
A Moodscope member.