Picture this: a perfect Cleveland spring day….HA! And by that, I mean that we start out the morning with a winter coat, brace for rain/snow/mix, and go coatless by mid-afternoon with that sunshine glow! You know, the usual. Because the high was predicted to be 70 degrees today, I had decided to wake up early and go for a walk at my favorite place–Brunswick Lake. The sun was just peeking over the top of Giant Eagle and the avid morning dog-walkers were in full swing. Nothing out of the ordinary.
Then, as if straight out of a movie, (I find that many of my day-to-day actions appear as cinematic moments) the sky became dark and all those eager walkers had disappeared. I was the only one brave enough (or perhaps silly enough) to withstand the oncoming rain. Then, another woman got out of her mini-van and joined me on the path.
My first initial thought was, “I hope she walks the opposite way. It will be awkward if she’s dragging right behind me. Maybe I should run.” (but if being completely honest, did I want to run? NOPE! Plan = foiled).
“Man, I thought I was going to beat the rain,” she exclaimed as the rain started to fall upon our faces. *Me: Who is she talking to? Oh…I guess me. Don’t be rude, RESPOND!*
“Oh yeah, isn’t it so refreshing?” And there I went…striking up a conversation of no return. She stuck to my side and became my unofficial walking buddy.
Yeah, it was a tad awkward at first. I mean, I still don’t even know her name. BUT I can tell you that she attended college over the span of 22 years, with a total of 9 degrees ranging from a psychology, public health, nursing, and journalism. She’s basically been in school for the duration of my entire life…INSANE. She has 6 kids and has even bigger dreams for her posterity than she’s ever had for herself. She has a huge heart and has gone through a pit of bad luck. She gave me life advice on keeping my bones safe from osteoporosis and provided encouragement I didn’t know I needed. She told me way too much about her personal life, but we shared a few laughs nonetheless.
So why am I sharing this? As mentioned in my previous blog, “Room for Cream?” it is absolutely essential that we work hard to treasure the little moments in life. Far too often we are quick to overlook and don’t realize the importance of things until it is too late. Needless to say, I thought I would have rather enjoyed a walk to myself; however, I ended up walking just shy of 2 miles with a complete stranger that shed a new light on my day (even though it was terribly dark outside). We walked until our heads were soaked and parted just as friends would when going separate ways.
Next time it rains (figuratively, literally, or in this case…both!), choose to make it a positive experience for yourself and perhaps a stranger. You never know what may happen.