On the move

by Richard on March 22, 2010

Heading south again to a meeting in Cardiff with my colleagues there, and from thence to ministerial synod. Can life get any more exciting? However, going by train is much easier than driving and doesn’t take much longer when going to the capital. Elsewhere is a different story, but as I’m not going elsewhere straight away it doesn’t matter.

Public transport is a great reminder of our connectedness to other people. Here we are, for the most part complete strangers. For a short time we share a carriage. We interact. We eavesdrop. We smile, and exchange small courtesies. Sometimes we get irritated. For this short time, we’re together. Then we’ll go our separate ways and in future will probably forget one another entirely.

But our lives have touched and, however slightly, our encounter will have changed us. The middle-aged blogger becomes part of the story of the elderly woman engrossed in her newspaper and the young man with the annoying ring tone.

We may never see one another again, but if it is true that the flapping of a butterfly’s wings can cause a hurricane on the other side of the world, who knows what will come of this moment of mutually-raised eyebrows.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

1

Jen 03.22.10 at 3:00 pm

The last time I went on a train, the person standing next to me on the platform turned out to live 30 metres from me, work in the uni chaplaincy doing the job a friend did last year, be friends with about 10 of my friends and we attended the same wedding last summer. We were both returning from the SCM conference, but still…

2

Pam 03.22.10 at 11:47 pm

I prefer to walk or use my car when I have to as we are not well served with public transport where I live. The price of living in a leafy semi-rural area! I know what you mean about interaction with strangers though, it can remind us that we are all connected and we all have a story.

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